Irom Sharmila, the iron lady of Manipur, who set a record of sorts by being on hunger strike for 16 years; the world’s longest one ended her strike on Tuesday afternoon with a lick of honey. The lady, who had several supporters, is finding it difficult to get a shelter in Imphal.
She, until now refused to touch food protesting the AFSPA, and was force-fed a rich diet through a nasal pipe every day of her 16-year fast. The Manipur government spent around Rs 10,000 a month to keep her alive. Meanwhile she ensured that the protest and the state of Manipur remained in headlines through her protest.
It took at least 40 persons — five JNIMS doctors, 12 nurses, three policewomen in civvies and two medical supervisors from Imphal jail besides a ring of policemen to take care of her. It was not just the monitored diet, but Yoga and a bit of walking around that kept Irom healthy.
She would be arrested at times for attempting to suicide, however spent most of her life in the hospital. Now with her decision to quit the fast, many rights activists are unhappy over her decision, and some of them were even seen protesting.
Sharmila clarified indeed that she wants an end to the legislation that “gives soldiers the licence to kill” and plans to turn to politics to continue her struggle. However on Tuesday, she was turned out of a couple of houses she went seeking shelter. This is also attributed to the fact that a few underground organisations showed their displeasure over Irom’s decision, and hence people were afraid to give accommodation to Irom Sharmila.
So many years of struggle for people, and she does not have a roof over her head.