Women's Day: Sharmila & Kom represent Manipur's struggle

Mary Kom Irom Sharmila
Guwahati, March 8: Manipur is one of the most trouble-torn states in India. Militancy and corruption have scarred the state. In spite of all odds, two women of Manipur--human-rights activist Irom Sharmila and Olympic bronze medal winner Mary Kom--show how to carry forward one's fight against all odds.

Sharmila's known as Manipur's Iron Lady is on a hunger strike for last 12 years. She is demanding the repeal of draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

Recently, the 40-year-old activist was in the national capital, as a court framed charges against Sharmila for allegedly attempting to commit suicide during her fast until death at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on October 5, 2006. However, she has refused to plead guilty to suicide attempt charge.

Similarly, Kom too has faced several crises in life, but has fought every battle with great elan.

"I've faced problems and challenges ever since I started boxing. Men always used to pass comments. While some were good, others were meant to put you down. They were discouraging and said that I would not be able to succeed.The next challenge was after marriage. Everyone, mostly family and friends, tried brainwashing my parents so that I would give up the sport. The third challenge that I encountered was post pregnancy and the final hurdle was shifting my weight category for the Olympics," she said.

"My funda was simple. If men can, why can't I? This turned out to be my strength," added the mother of two sons.

Kom admits that discrimination against women exists and they have to fight it.

"Men always discriminate. The scenario has changed as people have started supporting women, not only me but also in other sports," she added.

OneIndia News

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