Courtesy: Monika Khangembam
“Irom Sharmila Scholarship, which is awarded every year on her birthday i.e 14 March, has been jointly awarded to Rohith Vemula (posthumously) of Hyderabad Central University and Kanhaiya Kumar of Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The award goes to them as student representatives seeking to strengthen India’s constitutional democracy by upholding the constitutional ideals of fraternity, equality, right to life, and inspiring many others across the country.”- Press Release
Today we, along with a few JNU students from Manipur, decided to try our luck and went to JNIMS where she is jailed, to meet her to tell about the award and also wish her a happy birthday. To our pleasant surprise it was one of her one- hour ‘breaks’ where she gets to take a walk around her ward and we caught her flowering her bottled flower pots. We gave her a small birthday present (a shawl) and she started crying, overwhelmed by the gesture. She said her birthdays don’t mean anything to her anymore when the people and government neglect the pain and struggle of a lady who is demanding equal rights and right to life, who is entering her 16th year of fast. She encouraged students’ movements for their courage to fight for democracy but at the same time said people need to feel for the cause from their heart and felt disheartened to see the lack of support for her struggle against AFSPA. Even I am equally guilty for having failed her, as a person, as a community.
Leaving you with pictures of her watering her beloved pots and not the ‘typical’ ones because she is as normal as us and loves life as much as we do. smile emoticon
Everytime I meet her, I am always filled with more strength and determination. That’s what she does to you.
More power to you Eche.