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The Sangai Express: Impahl Housewife rues HIV/AIDS ignorance

Impahl Housewife rues HIV/AIDS ignorance
from The Sangai Express, August 23 2011

Imphal, August 23 2011: For 41-year old Memcha (not real name) lack of awareness about HIV/AIDS has exposed her to all sorts of miseries and unending struggle for survival even after tiding over an initial decision the take the extreme step of committing suicide along with her two children.

Narrating her tale of woes to The Sangai Express, Memcha lamented that she entered into wedlock with one Mocha of Khurai Thangjam Leikai Chingangbam Leirak without knowing that her future life partner was an intravenous drug user.

Confiding that she came to know Mocha as he used to frequently come to her locality, where he had a close friend, Memcha said she was compelled to elope with Mocha after an outing at a distant place ended late in the evening.

Rather than enjoy marital bliss, Memcha felt disheartened as she realised that her husband was a heroin user, who not only sold off almost the entire homestead land (.3 out of .4 area) to satisfy his urge for the drug, but began to mortgage household items, not sparing even earrings and clothes of his two children, one son and a daughter.

Married to Mocha in March 1991, Memcha reportedly came to know about her HIV status in 2003 after she consulted a doctor due to suspicion and frequent illnesses, during which she had already become mother of two children.

When her husband passed away in March 2006 with nearly nothing left in the house, Memcha’s struggle to feed her two children and mother-in-law became an insurmountable challenge with each passing day leading her to decide on ending her life.

One day, Memcha confessed, she asked her children what their choicest dishes were and that it would be their last supper.

As the children instantly retorted they would like to live and started to first taste with their fingertips whatever food she prepared for them, she felt wretched at being such a spineless mother which nevertheless emboldened her to strive harder in order to ensure her children grow up normally and get education.

At present Memcha is working at Tabitha Compassion Care Centre run by Manipur Baptist Convention Centre Church, where women affected by HIV/AIDS are being rehabilitated and sustaining their livelihood, with her son a class XII students and the daughter studying in class IX.

Even though Memcha is still regretful that her lack of awareness on the dreaded HIV/AIDS disease and marriage to Mocha had ruined her life, she is thankful to the Almighty that her ignorance has not effected the two children for they are free from the disease.


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