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.
The Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network (MWGSN)
- Binalakshmi Nepram
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.