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Everyday, three to four people are shot dead in Manipur’s ongoing conflict. In the last decades thousands have died and even more have become widowed or orphaned. Stories of suffering are legion as those who survive look into a scarred future. Someday, this needs to end.
- Binalakshmi Nepram
The Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network (MWGSN) inception dates back to December 24, 2004. On Christmas Eve, Ms Binalakshmi Nepram witnessed the aftermath of the killing of 27-year-old Buddhi Moirangthem in Wabgai Lamkhai village of Thoubal district, southeast of Manipur's state capital, Imphal.

There, a group of three gunmen had dragged Buddhi from his car-battery workshop. Within a matter of minutes they shot him dead. Till date, his young wife Rebika Akham does not know who the killers were and why they killed her husband.

A few days after the incident, Ms Nepram contributed Rupees 4500 (USD 110) to buy a sewing machine for Rebika Akham. This machine enabled her to stitch and tailor clothes for the villagers and to secure her a humble living after the dead of her husband. This intervention in Wabgai Lamkhai village was first ever of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network.

Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network was formed in an attempt to help women like Rebika, whose lives have been changed dramatically because of the gun killings of a beloved husband, father or son - be it by state- or non-state actors or unidentified gunmen. The Network attempts to lift women above the trauma and agony faced in armed conflict by helping them to find ways to heal the scars that decades of violence have caused to the community.

The Networks direct intervention evolves a gender sensitive approach to the gun crisis, supports women economically and bring them forward to play a crucial role in small arms policy. It is the first initiative of its kind in India. The formal launch of took place on April 26, 2007 in Manipur's capital, Imphal.
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