TODAY -

Irom Sharmila meets mother after 11 years
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 31 2012: It was a poignant day for iconic human rights activist Irom Sharmila Chanu and her eighty-year-old mother Sakhi Devi as they met for the first time today after 11 years.

The last time Sharmila's frail mom saw her was when she went out to launch her hunger fast against the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act eleven years ago.

Sharmila presented her mother a handmade gift a dry flower-filled pillow at the eye surgical ward of the State-run Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (Jnims) where her frail mother is being treated following an eye operation.

Incidentally Sharmila is being forced fed through her nose at the same hospital close to her Kongpal Kongkham Leikai residence .

On November 4, 2000 Sharmila moved out from her residence to embark on her lone mission with blessings from her mother .

"It was on a chilly evening my mother touched Sharmila's head thrice and blessed her to move ahead with the mission without fear and return back home only after achieving her target.

With tears trickling on her face, Sharmila moved out slowly from my residence," said Sharmila's elder brother Irom Singhajit.



Irom Sharmila
Irom Sharmila


As their mother is getting old and weak, Sharmila sought permission from the jail authority meet her mother which was granted, Singhajit said.

"On seeing my weak mother, tears streamed down Sharmila's pale face and everybody including me and jail staff maintained a stoic silence for a few moments inside the ward ," he said .

"Thereafter Sharmila presented a hand-made dry flower-filled pillow to my mother and requested her to sleep on it to get peace of mind.

My mother accepted the greatest gift of her gutsy daughter and blessed her again to go ahead with her mission," he said.

"Without taking much time, Sharmila moved out slowly with her face down, the same emotional scene, I witnessed on November 4, eleven years ago at my residence" said Singhajit who is also the trustee of Just Peace Foundation (JPF), a trust formed by social and rights activists for the cause of Sharmila's unrelenting struggle against the military Act.

Sharmila said that the flowers she put inside the pillow were from her collection of garlands she received from the public, he added.

Sharmila, who penned a bunch of poems on social aspects and human values, carries out daily Yoga workout at her 'prison room' .


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