The European Manipuri Association has been involved with many charitable activities since its inception. We have made contributions in conjunction with sister charitable organisations, and taken up new activities independently when it was felt to be appropriate. Some of the main activities we are, or have been, involved with are as follows:
- 11 Year Hunger Strike: Irony In The World’s Largest Democracy(2012) at Harvard
European Manipuri Association (EMA) and The North American Manipur Association (NAMA), co-sponsored a symposium titled “11 Year Hunger Strike: Irony In The World’s Largest Democracy” which was held at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA on 21 February, 2012The event was jointly organized by The Carr Center For Human Rights Policy at Harvard University, the Harvard India Caucus, and the Kashmir Initiative at the Carr Center. The context of the symposium, the first of its kind held in the United States on AFSPA and Irom Sharmila, was Sharmila’s 11 year long hunger strike to repeal The AFSPA.
The speakers of the event included Binalakshmi Nepram, Founder of Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network, Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director Human Rights Alert, Manipur, L. Somi Roy of Hun-tré! International Manipur Projects, Angana Chatterji, Co-Convener of the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice, and Pradyot Deb Burman, Chairman and Editor of The Northeast Today, Shillong, India.
Different issues related to AFSPA in Manipur and other sates of India like Kashmir, northeast India and consequences of militarization in these states were highlighted during the discussion by different speakers. The humanitarian, racial and regional discriminatory dimensions of AFSPA were also emphasised.
A resolution was taken to form an Initiative based at Harvard for future debate and discussion on issues pertaining to Manipur, and the North East Region of India. The Initiative will primarily focus on research and advocacy for peace and prosperity in the region. The Initiative will work with Governments, Civil Society, and other stakeholders.
- Blooming Manipur (2011 – 2013)
BLOOMING MANIPUR is a project endeavoring to beautify Ema Keithel, the 300 year old traditional and ingenious women’s only market of Manipur, which centers right in the heart of the state. Blooming Manipur is inspired by the Britain in bloom concept, a campaign which has made Britain one of the most beautiful island Nations .And beyond the beautiful flowers and gardens of Britain, the campaign has done wonders for community cohesion. It has managed to get communities to participate in keeping the towns and cities beautiful, increasing civic sense of pride and truly creating a sense of belonging to their streets and neighborhoods. EMA launched the Blooming Manipur Project in first week of December, 2011.For the first phase of the Project, volunteers of EMA put up a row of 46 ‘hanging flower baskets’ along the pillars of the newly constructed market shed – I and II of Ema Keithel facing each other transforming the look of the market. EMA is hoping to make ‘Blooming Manipur’, a campaign beyond a Beautiful Keithel with Beautiful flowers!
EMA has officially announced the completion of its involvement with the “Blooming Manipur” project, and handed over the project to “Blooming Manipur Coordinating Committee”. The activities of the BM can be followed through the Facebook page:
- Manipur Cycle Club (2011)
- Medical Relief Camp (2009)
EMA took part in the organisation of a medical relief camp at Nongmaikhong and Khodrak in Manipur. The camp was organised to help children traumatised by the ongoing violence and military operations, such as Operation Summer Storm, in the state so that they could return to normality and lead successful lives. Around one thousand people attended the camp in which various local volunteers, doctors from RIMS and JN Hospital, journalists, and members from the Health Department and numerous local clubs such as NAYA, NYS, NDSYC, KIC, YASOK and KWO took part. Members of EMA pledged a sum of Rs. 82,000 towards this cause.
- Royal Riders (2007)
EMA pledged a sum of Rs. 8000 to the `Royal Riders of Manipur’, a group of enthusiastic Royal Enfield riders led by Mr Alex Zingkhai. Members of this club combines rides to far flung villages of Manipur with charitable activities such as conducting free medical camps, and whose motto is `Serving with Adventure’.
- Yitaroi (2004-2006)
Yitaroi is a social services institution which aims to provide counselling and assistance to victims of sexual and domestic abuse, and to provide vocational training to women who are victims of the social system of khainaba (divorce) or desertation, especially when the wives are deserted along with their children without any form of financial assistance.
- SACSAS (2004-2006)
Save Children, Save Society (SACSAS) is a charitable organisation concerned with the education and well being of children in Manipur. It also aims to recruit educated but unemployed Manipuris for teaching posts. EMA has made financial contributions to help SACSAS achieve some of its goals by sponsoring a school in Moubam village, near Moirang.
- Educational sponsorship (2003)
The Manipur Science and Technology Council (MASTEC) organises one of the most reputed science fairs for high-school students in Manipur. EMA is pleased to have been able to partly sponsor cash prizes for the quiz competition in MASTEC’s 2003 Science Meet.
- Famine Relief (2003)
Towards the end of 2003, EMA contributed a small amount of financial aid to assist famine relief efforts in the Zeliangrong villages.
As the members of EMA are away from home, it is sometimes very difficult to perform important tasks without the valuable support of individuals in Manipur. If you would like to volunteer and participate in our activities at home, please send us a message. Additionally, if you have ideas about ways in which EMA may be able to help Manipur, please contact us. We will ensure that every suggestion or comment is duly considered and discussed at the next EMA meeting. Please note, however, that the committee will rank activities based on a majority vote (please refer to The Constitution).