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Nov 27, 2012 at 09:05am IST

Manipur: Young professionals help counter-insurgency victims overcome trauma

Imphal: A team of young professionals in Manipur is going out of its way to help the victims of continuing counter-insurgency operations in the state to help overcome the trauma. And a dance therapy workshop is one of their innovative methods.

Sunitibala Takhelmayum, counsellor at Human to Humane Transcultural Centre for Trauma and Torture, says, "The victim or the client affected by counter-insurgency... we try to help them overcome the depression, anxiety or psychological problems because of violence."

Most participants in the workshop have lost their near and dear ones to decades of violence in the conflict-ridden Manipur. The team at H2H, under the aegis of Centre for Organisational Research and Education in Imphal, has been slowly and steadily reaching out to the families with medical and legal help.

Paonam Thoibi, a client service professional at H2H, says, "As much as possible we try to encourage the individuals, the families, their support system, their take on the event. How they take it and what their response to the incident, the event and then make an assessment about the type of help or assistance we can provide them."

H2H has been providing legal help and psychological assistance to the families of Sansam David and Ahanthem Amujao. They are just two of the at least 100 families H2H is trying to help. Within 10 metres of each other, two families in a neighbourhood that we go to, lost a 16 year-old boy and a 25-year-old man allegedly in staged encounters.

Today a team of young professionals in Manipur are helping them not only in their fight for justice but also in their bigger unstated battle of overcoming the trauma of such personal loss. As the team visits the families of Amujao, a young boy allegedly killed in a staged encounter, their effort stands out in a state that has witnessed at least 800 civilian deaths in the insurgency, counter-insurgency battle in the last 10 years.