“In future, this thing should not happen. Let us also focus on the positive activities rendered by army,” said Rekha Sharma
TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
The District Administration of Ukhrul hosted an interaction programme at the maiden visit of the Chairperson of National Commission for Women (NCW) at DRDA Hall, Mini Secretariat Complex, Ukhrul with women leaders, CSOs, and NGOs.
NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said, “since I joined as a member of NCW in 2015, we always travel to far flung areas and meet women of the areas, talk to them and try to understand their problems. We came back and always try to solve the problem being faced by the women.
“I feet very sad when the TSL president narrated about the crimes committed by the Indian Army against the women. Because I have seen the army in a different way, they are disciplined and very respectful to women. I am sorry for what happened in the 70s and 80s. In future, this thing should not happen. Let us also focus on the positive activities rendered by the army” she added.
Rekha Sharma further said, “You are already doing business in a small way, but I wanted women to learn better marketing techniques and processes to elevate your business. There are many schemes where you can get a loan from the banks. I urged all of you to know about all the schemes being provided by the Government.
“We want women of Ukhrul to start their business more seriously and efficiently. I want their products to sell online. Tourism is one great area because Ukhrul is surrounded with beautiful scenery and cool weather. Construct homestay for tourists to visit and stay. Provide a place to stay where people from outside can come and stay and work for a month. Internet facilities must be secure properly so a that the tourist can come and work. The internet service is very weak here in Ukhrul, I will appraise to the state and central,” she added.
Rekha Sharma also urged the women of Ukhrul to come forward and be brave enough to raise their voice. “We women should be brave enough to raise and solve our issues. Make use of the OSC. Take advantage of the OSC. You can also visit our website and write your grievances to us. We will surely extend all our possible help,” she said.
President of Tangkhul Shanao Long Thingreiphi Lungharwoshi gave a brief profile of the organisation. She stated that “many organisations are formed, challenged by certain issues and situational crises. So was Tangkhul Shanao Long. It came into being after repeated torture humiliation and all kinds of inhuman treatment by the Indian Security Forces. In the year 1974, during the month of March, the 95 Border Security Forces made operation and grouping of two villages, namely, Grihang and Ngaprum (now Kumram) in which many women were raped and molested in front of their men and menfolk were brutally tortured.”
“On 4 March 1974, a young girl, Rose Ningshen was raped by three BSF Officers one after the other. Unable to bear the humiliation, she committed suicide on 6 March 1974. The death of Miss Rose became the driving force for the formation of Tangkhul Women’s Organisation. On 8 May 1974, 703 women from 90 villages resolved to form an organization uniting all the Tangkhul women,” added Thingreiphi Lungharwoshi.
“TSL has evolved as peace makers, as human rights defenders, as knowledge holders and promoters of indigenous knowledge and keeper of society. She also mentioned the gruesome incident of Miss Luingamla (17 years), who was shot death by one Captain Mandir Singh of 25 Madras Regiment on 24 January 1986, when she resisted his attempt to rape her,” said the TSL president.
Thingreiphi Lungharwoshi on behalf of the Tangkhul women submitted a memorandum to the Chairperson of NCW. The Memorandum seeks steps for necessary recommendation and action for the withdrawal of the AFSPA 1958 from all the hill areas/districts in Manipur.
It also sought multi-utility centre for the women in Ukhrul District.
The president of TSL also mentioned about the inadequate women police personnel of Ukhrul District and absence of SWADHAR Greh (A Scheme for Women in Difficult Circumstances) which targets the women victims of difficult circumstances who are in need of institutional support for rehabilitation so that they could lead their life with dignity. She also questioned the location of the centre which is situated about 52km from Ukhrul Headquarters.
Madam Soso Shaiza lauded the initiative taken by NCW under the leadership of Rekha Sharma. She asserted that the Chairperson of NCW had heard the grievances, understood the issues and problems faced by the people of Ukhrul especially the women folks and exuded total confidence that her visit will surely bring changes for the betterment of Tangkhul women.
The interaction programme was attended by various women leaders of the Tangkhul community. Rekha Sharma and Madam Soso Shaiza later planted a sapling each inside the premises of Mini Secretariat Complex, Ukhrul. The state guest left for Imphal from Ukhrul at around 2:30pm.