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Sharmila gifts book to Manipur

- Please read it: Crusader

Imphal, May 14: Human rights crusader Irom Sharmila today presented the people of Manipur with World Without Wars, a book written by Mumbai-based peace activist Reo Rebello, advocating world peace.

The secretary of the Manipur branch of Indian Red Cross Society, Yumnam Mohen, received the book from the crusader and handed it over to the officials of the state central library according to Sharmila’s wishes.

“Sharmila has been moved by the book and her wish is that the public should read it so that the movement for world peace is accelerated,” Mohen said.

The book is an “excellent” attempt at bringing together on one platform various voices for calling for world peace. The book is a collection of articles, poems, and statements on the issue of world peace and a result of tireless efforts for the cause.

The author himself sent the book to Sharmila.

“Sharmila wanted the book be given to a library so that people can read it. When we proposed the libraries of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences or that of Manipur University she opted for the central library as common readers could have access to the book,” Mohen said.

This is the sixth time that Sharmila donated books to the library, which was set on fire by Meitei script activists in April 2005, as part of their campaign for replacing Bengali script with Meitei. Since then, the library is facing a shortage of books.

The state central library has a separate section of books donated by Sharmila. There are more than 400 books on the shelves, all donated by the rights crusader.

Sharmila also donated a sum of Rs 1 lakh to the author and as a “contribution” to his fight for the cause of world peace and a sum of Rs 3 lakh to the Red Cross Society’s state unit.

Mohen said the Rs 3 lakh would be used in the society’s training programmes on giving first aid during natural calamities. The Red Cross has lined up programmes like opening its unit in Tamenglong district and holding a first aid training camp at Tamu town in Myanmar, which borders Manipur’s Chandel district.

Earlier, Sharmila donated a sum of Rs 4 lakh to the International Committee of the Red Cross in March this year. The India unit of the committee turned down the cheque, maintaining that it was not authorised by Geneva to accept donations.

She then divided the sum among the state unit of the Red Cross and the author of the book.

Sharmila has been on fast since November 5, 2000, demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

For the first time police submitted a chargesheet earlier this month, accusing Sharmila of attempting to commit suicide. The chief judicial magistrate, Imphal East, A. Noutuneshwari, is currently holding the hearing.


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