The blockade continued for 69 days which resulted in an unprecedented crisis in Manipur, a landlocked state where all supplies reach through in trucks. Once the highways – practically the state’s economic lifeline - were blocked, supply trucks couldn’t move in. Within days, the state witnessed shortages of all essentials, including life saving drugs, foodstuffs and fuel. Finally, on June 18, the All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur suspended the blockade on the two national highways, but by then the sufferings of common citizens in the state had reached an agonizing high.
The video 'Economic Blockade Cripples Manipur' by IndiaUnheard community correspondent Achungmei Kamei captures this suffering of ordinary citizens who bore the brunt this man-made economic crisis every day. As a community member, Achungmei herself shared this suffering. The blockade created a huge fuel shortage which, in turn, crippled the transport service. Petrol prices, shot up to Rs 160 a litre and auto and bus fares multiplied. Due to this, shooting of the video itself became an uphill task for our correspondent as she couldn’t travel. While shooting, she was also treated with suspicion and disrespect by many as she was a Naga tribal. Even after the end of the blockade, her family, like thousands others, do not have cooking gas as cylinders are not available.
Gayatri Ambedkar / September 23, 2020
Ambedkar Nagar villagers were not receiving their quota of ration until a VV correspondent intervened.
Rayees Ahmad / September 21, 2020
A MBBS student from Kashmir, stressed by exams and the pandemic, uses art to unwind.