New Delhi: Leading sportspersons from the North East, including Kunjarani Devi, MC Mary Kom and Baichung Bhutia, on Thursday appealed to the country`s leadership and people to support their fellow citizens of Manipur who had to endure severe hardships in the face of four month-long economic blockade.
Manipur was hit hard by a 120-day economic blockade of its two national highways, which began on August 1 following a demand for a separate district by the people in Sadar Hills area and it saw the prices of essential goods skyrocketing and life-saving medicines in short supply.
The blockade was lifted on November 28 ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit to the state on December 3.
Besides Kunjarani, Mary Kom and Bhutia, the other seven players who made an appeal are national football team members Gouramangi Singh, Sushil Singh, Govin Singh, Lalrindika Ralte and Rocus Lamare, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist weightlifter Monika Devi and Asian Games silver medallist in Wushu Sandhyarani Devi.
"We play as `India` and we play for the pride of our countrymen. As much as we have enjoyed the privilege of representing you in various international platforms, today we are very saddened at what is repeatedly going on in our beloved state of Manipur," the Open Letter to the People of India said.
"The economic blockade have affected the normal life of every common man of Manipur.
"It`s sad to see this great nation giving a deaf ear while lakhs of citizens in Manipur have been suffering under dark shadow of economic blockade for more than 120 days. It`s painful to see no conclusive action from any of responsible quarters for over four months when the people of Manipur were made to struggle for basic essential items, life saving drugs and many more," said the sportspersons in the letter issued by North East India Image Managers.