Sharmila has been conferred with the prestigious Sarva Gunah Sampannah ‘“ Award for Peace and Harmony 2010 here today on the 12th Signature Awards ‘“ Woman of substance award instituted by Signature Training Centre (STC).
She has been conferred with the award in recognition of ‘decade-long epic protest against the might of the State, to repeal AFSPA‘. Frailty of body brought about by her fast has only strengthened her resolve to change the tide of time ushering in peace in the region for all time to come, said a release from the awarding institution.
The peace award carries a cash prize of Rs 25,000, a citation and a trophy laced with an ethnic Assamese headgear and shawl.
12th Signature Awards ‘“ Woman of Substance award was awarded to Irom Sharmila today at Central Jail, Manipur by some members of 22nd Signature Sarva Gunah Sampanna Award selection committee in showing solidarity to the people of Manipur and in recognition of her resolve and determination to eradicate the infamous AFSPA.
The STC awards has been instituted to commemorate the completion of 12th year of the institution and has been conferred on four deserving women who have left an indelible imprint in the society by their exploits, struggles and achievements in recent times.
The awards were officially given away at a function held in Guwahati on November 9 last but the Iron Lady of Manipur could not attend the award function due to security and health reason. Therefore, some members of the award institution came to Imphal today to hand over the award to Irom Sharmila.
In a somewhat drab function convened today at 10 am in Central Jail, Imphal, Madhumita Saikia, Principal, Signature Training Centre, Hemanta Kumar Saikia and Pranay Bordoloi, media personalities, have flown up here from Guwahati to personally honor the lone crusader with the peace award.
Speaking to media persons after the conferment, Madhumita Saikia said that the struggle that Sharmila has been burdened with for the last one decade needs to be widened. ‘At a time when every woman wants to get married, she (Sharmila) has sacrificed her life for the society. We want to take her message and struggle to Assam and to other parts of the world so that people might know the nature of struggle in Manipur and Northeast and might come forward and do something for her’, she said.
The struggle is not only for Manipur, it is for the entire Northeast people. We must fight alongside her against the Act which has made lives very horrible. AFSPA empowers security forces to arrest and kill suspects with impunity, this is not fair. We are not animals, we are also human beings, everybody is not a criminal, she asserted.
At around 11:30 am, Sharmila presented herself before the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) at Lamphel in Imphal East. The CJM Ronald Keishing remanded Sharmila to judicial custody until January 10, 2011. The anti AFSPA agitation by Sharmila since the year 2000 has reached a crescendo and a landmark given the widespread solidarity it has garnered with internationally recognized awards coming home via overdue acknowledgments. It’s been 10 painstaking years of human endurance and resilience being tested and tried. But ultimately, the indomitable spirit of this unassuming ‘˜iron lady’ of Manipur has prevailed.
(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)
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