• Rural Women Upliftment Society, Churachandpur, Manipur, India
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Young Woman Leader and a Gun Widow : Kungi

Young  Woman Leader and a Gun Widow : Kungi – from victimhood to change agent and to leadership position

 

Ms Vanlalkung d/o of Joseph P. Thanga resides in Ngurte village in churachandpur district with her 2 sons. Her father was a Government servant while her mother was doing some handicraft work at home. They consist of three siblings out of which she is the middle of the three siblings. Her dad has some brain infection problem and was hospitalized for some months, and later succumbs to the disease. After her father’s death, her mother got a pension salary of her father and out of which she look after her children education and family needs.

In the year 2001, Ms.Vanlalkung was married to Mr. Vanlalsawm who is the active member of the local underground outfit HPC (D). They got two sons. In the year 2012 the security force captured two of the leaders of the underground outfit, of whom one is her husband as he is one of the Town Commander. They have been jailed for some time but the outfit being a signatory to the ceasefire agreement between the outfit and Home Ministry Department at the state and central level, they were later released without any further case. After their release Vanlalkung along with her husband went to the outfit designated camp in Ankhasuo and stay there for some time. Their youngest son was with them in the said camp.

There was a leadership issue within the outfit and her husband was being targeted as a traitor out of jealousy. They started to oppose her husband in certain ways thinking that her husband was working without the rule of law. In this same year her husband was killed by his own cadres in some remote areas of their camp. She was not aware of her husband’s death, and she came to know of the tragic news through her husband friend’s gossip. After knowing this news she started to investigate the news by herself with the help of her friends. At the time of her husband’s death, the younger son was 3 years old while the older one was 10 years old. After one week she can conclude that her husband was death, but she couldn’t recover her beloved husband’s death body till today. She find it hard to accept that her husband being a true fighter for the cause of the Hmar people who is ready to laid down her life for the cause his people, but being killed by his own colleagues in cold-blooded was very hard for her to accept. She returned to her native place i.e., Ngurte village of Churachandpur District. She works as a vegetable vendor and by doing some handicraft works to support her two children schooling. In the year 2013 she work as a teacher in place of the appointed teachers and was given a monthly salary of Rs. 3000. Her elder daughter was admitted to Mount Carmel school at Muolvaiphei village while the younger one was admitted in her workplace which is the village JB School. The Mount Carmel School out of love and sympathy, admitted her son with free tuition fee at their school.

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Ms Vanlalkung attended the first FGDs held in Churachandpur. She was moved by the introduction of the whole barometer process and its concept. For the first time in her life, she stood up and speaks in gatherings/meetings. She is now very active in all WinG programs. She shared “I thought I was all alone in this world of isolation and seclusion. When my husband was killed, even some of my relatives, friends and neighbours deserted me by avoiding meeting me in the street, visiting my home and even hesitant to talk to me. I am very happy that WinG –Manipur understand my situation and warmly welcome to the family of WinG. Now, I met many friends who experience similar situation that I have gone through with pain. We love one another; we shared and shoulder our burden together through phone, group meetings, workshops, other social activities but also helping each other in terms of small material needs. I know, I’m not alone anymore and I am not afraid to share my experience as gun widow, not ashamed to be called a gun widow and I gain the courage to face life. I will continue to work for women peace and security in my personal capacity”

Today, Ms Kungi spoke in congregations, events and public gatherings. Through her stories many other young women are inspired and encourage to take up steps for a change

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