Imphal: There has been no change in the status of the economic blockade in Manipur, which entered its 100th day on Tuesday. Caught between activists and the Centre is the common man, who is literally fighting for his life due to severe shortage of medical supplies.
Jogendra, superintendent at Sija Hospital, said, "We don't know if we will be able to proceed day after tomorrow. Tomorrow we can, but I don't know what will happen the next day."
49-year old Jogendra, superintendent of one of Manipur's largest private hospitals, has been fighting the worst crisis of his medical career. He makes his rounds, checks on his patients, but all with a heavy heart.
Sija hospital, just like others in Manipur, has been facing an acute shortage of medical supplies because of the economic blockade.
Oxygen, IV drips, essential medicines have run out and supplies take weeks to come.
"Medicine companies have stopped sending their supplies, the hospitals are sending private vehicles to get medicines, but even then there is a big question mark if the vehicle will return or not," Jogendra said.
Many hospitals had even stopped admitting patients to save oxygen for the already admitted critical patients.
Thoiba's brother is in the ICU. He says he is terrified to even imagine what tomorrow might bring.
For some, it's the cost that is a nightmare. For 50-year old M Gambing whose 20-year old daughter is getting operated the second time, even getting her to the hospital was an uphill task.
"The hospital is only 15 km away, I had to pay thrice the amount to the ambulance. Everything is so expensive, medicines are so expensive. We don't know how we will manage," Gambing said.
The people of Manipur say optimism is the only way out. They can't let the fear of tomorrow sink in. Hundreds of patients and their families are praying that they are granted the basic right to proper health care and the dignity to breathe freely.