TODAY -

Can time really heal victims of Pangei blast ?
Source: The Sangai Express / Ng Liklaileima Arambam

Imphal, October 20 2012: The Pangei bomb blast of March 15, 2012 which killed a girl and injured five others including three girls shocked every one in the State.

Though it was shocking and slowly faded away from public memory, the scars of the blast just refuses to heal for the three girl victims and their mother.

Even though Memcha and her three daughters were treated free of cost at Raj Polyclinic, they have no money for the second level of treatment.

Memcha who used to do all kinds of odd jobs to earn the family's livelihood and educate her children can no longer do any manual work after she was injured in the bomb blast.

With Memcha unable to work anymore, her children have stopped going to school.

Memcha can only weep and curse her fate when she sees the deep scars made by bomb fragments on the tender bodies of her daughters.

Though Memcha is only about 40 years old, her physique is quite emaciated and she looked very weak.

"I would like to cure all the wounds and scars on my daughters but what can I do when I cannot feed them a square meal a day", Memcha said in a feeble and disappointed voice.



Scars on the limbs of Pangei blast victims
Scars on the limbs of Pangei blast victims


It was on March 15 this year when some children attempted to open a paper box which they picked from road side exploded inside a small rented room with all its fury.

The explosion killed eight year old Abenao.

It also left Memcha and her three daughters��Anjali (16), Pretty (9) and Tracy (6) deeply injured.

The bomb explosion hurt Memcha's second mother too.

Late Abenao was her second mother's daughter.

Tracy was hit by bomb fragments all over her body and many parts of her body including private part sustained burn injuries.

Her left shoulder was also left fractured.

Besides sustaining grievous injuries all over her body, Pretty's left ring finger was left broken.

Anjali was wounded on the face, legs and hands.

Memcha suffered injuries on the thighs, buttock and back.

Because of the injuries, Tracy is suffering from body pain and ache every single day.

Her left hand is without any strength and she looks grotesque on account of the burn injuries.

Like her youngest sister, Pretty's left hand finds its inconvenient to lift or move any object after the middle finger was left broken.

She is even unable to cut her nails.

Though Anjali does not look physically maimed, visibility of her eyes has been severely reduced.

"Before the disastrous bomb blast, I could send my children to school and I could weave one woollen shawl everyday.

Not only that, I could go to hills and gather bundles of firewood.

But today, all my girls have dropped out from school and I could not do any manual.

Life was never miserable like this before", Memcha said.

Before the bomb blast Anjali was reading in class VIII, Pretty in class III and Tracy in Nursery.

Only Monica, Memcha's second daughter, is continuing her studies.

Even then, forced by abject poverty, Anjali and Monica have started weaving clothes on handloom out of investment from others.

Whereas it takes two days to weave a full-length, they are getting only Rs 25 for each cloth woven.

When this reporter and members of Wide Angle visited Memcha at her husband's home at Moirang Mantak, she cried out, "With my husband and myself unable to do any hard work, our misery has crossed all limits" .

"While I continue to go to hills to gather firewood, our family is living on the meagre income earned by my daughters by weaving clothes.

My fellow workers sell their bundles of firewood at Rs 70 per bundle but I sell my bundles at Rs 50 for I cannot carry any heavy load", Memcha said.

After the bomb blast, Memcha and her daughters were treated at Raj Polyclinic for about one month and a half and it costs about Rs 1.80 lakhs.

But the expenditure was borne by the hospital.

"Doctors there said that we need further treatment and advised to come to the hospital regularly.

But I could not go back to the hospital for want of money", Memcha said with despair writ large on her face.

On being asked about any assistance she received from the Government and other quarters, Memcha said that she received Rs 20,000 from the MLA of Khundrakpam AC, Rs 2000 from the Pradhan of Pangei, Rs 30,000 from the people of Moirang Mantak and Rs 12,000 from the Pangei Police Training School.

"However, I have not received any kind of assistance from the Government till date", Memcha said.

Pretty who aspired to become a doctor said that she could not cut her nails and she could only wait for the nails to get snapped on its own when it grows longer.

Even though the Government of India ratified the UN Convention on the Child Rights on December 11, 1992 and introduced Right to Education Act 2009 with the objectives of protecting child rights and ensuring free and compulsory education to all children, all these measures remain meaningless to the children of Memcha.

As for the Government, it is as good as dead to the hapless family.


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