Manipur Woman Wins Prestigious Humanitarian Award

MANIPUR – Manipur native, Binalakshmi Nepram is the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Anna Politkovskaya Award. The award is presented annually by the organization, Reach All Women in WAR (RAW in WAR) to a woman who has stood up to victims in areas of conflict and who have demonstrated “courage and truth-telling in the face of grave danger.”

Manipur native, Binalakshmi Nepram is the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Anna Politkovskaya Award.
Binalakshmi Nepram

Although she no longer lives in India, Binalakshmi continues to campaign for the victims of South Asia’s longest-running but little-known conflict in Manipur and for the rights of indigenous women.

In her acceptance speech, she again brought attention to:

Manipur in the Northeast Region of India, home to 45 million people, belonging to 272 indigenous communities and home also to South Asia’s longest-running armed conflict, where over 50,000 lives have been lost, 400,000 people displaced and where – since 1958 . . . hid from the rest of the world as an entrenched conflict.”

Binalakshmi has been campaigning for women victims of human rights abuses for more than a decade. She is known in India as “The face and voice of North East.”

Binalakshmi earned a master’s degree in History from Delhi University and another in South Asian Studies in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Her work of advocating for women victims of conflict and violence in 2004 when a small business owner in Manipur was killed by unknown assailants, leaving his wife in difficult circumstances. She began an organization whose primary objective was to provide financial and directional assistance to female dependents who had met their demise as victims of violence.

In 2015, Binalakshmi was named among Forbes list of “24 Young Minds to Watch.” That year she was also cited as one of the top 100 influential people in the world actively pursuing a reduction in armed violence.”

She has previously been the recipient of the Sean MacBride Peace Prize, Best Humanitarian Initiative of the Year, and the CNN IBN Real Heroes Award, among others.

Binalakshmi shared the Anna Politkovskaya Award with Svetlana Alexievich, a journalist from Belarus who has been vocal in exposing civil rights violations in Eastern Ukraine.