Mother's resilience shines amid crisis: A story of hope from a relief camp

‘I don't want my children to see my tears’.

ByB Rakesh Sharma

Updated 19 Jul 2023, 8:05 am

(Photo: IFP)
(Photo: IFP)

In the face of the ongoing unrest in Manipur, 29-year-old Pukhrambam Rina, a mother of three, has emerged as a symbol of resilience, determination and hope.

Rina skilfully conceals her tears from her children, presenting a facade of normalcy to shield them from the harsh realities of their situation. Her days are occupied with the extraction of silk fibre from cocoons, a low-scale livelihood programme organised by Chingmeirong Apunba and a local MLA.

 "I don't want my children to see my tears, rather, I want my children to think that nothing happened and we are going on a normal life as usual," said Rina while engaging in her activities of extracting silk fibre, carrying her seven-month-old child in her lap.

Displaced from her home and forced to seek refuge in a relief camp at Chingmeirong in Imphal East, Rina has tirelessly worked to secure a better future for her three children amid the challenging circumstances.

Even as she carefully tends to her seven-month-old child, Rina toils to rebuild her family's life from scratch after their home in Churachandpur Thingkhangphai Makha Leikai was consumed by the crisis.

With their possessions reduced to ashes and finances depleted, Rina's family represents the struggle faced by countless displaced individuals in relief camps across the state.

Amid the trauma and concerns for her children's future, Rina shared her apprehensions with this Imphal Free Press reporter.


Rina is currently staying at a relief camp opened at Chingmeirong in Imphal East along with her husband, P Robert, and her three children namely Lamnganbi (7 years), Wangthoi (5 years) and Laangambi (7 months old).

Although hailing from a farmers family, her husband was engaged as a labour since their stay at the camp, unfortunately due to an underlying illness, her husband has been confined to bed rest, mounting the burden on Rina to provide for their children's future.

Although her daily earnings in extraction of silk fibres amount to a mere Rs 100, Rina sees these meagre funds as an opportunity to lay the foundation for a future business.

Her aspirations are fuelled by the fact that essential needs and provisions are being generously provided by local authorities, allowing her to save every penny earned.

"As our daily bread and essential needs are being provided free of cost by the authorities (local clubs and Meira Paibis) of the relief camp, I will keep the money I earn for future use or investment for any business which I will prefer when time comes to run my family," she said.

With a current savings balance of Rs 300, Rina remains determined to utilise this capital wisely when the time comes to sustain her family.

Adapting to the relief camp and a new school, Rina's eldest daughter, Lamnganbi, yearns for the familiarity of her previous life. Memories of friends and classmates at Rayburn High School in Churachandpur weigh heavily on her heart.

Despite forging new friendships at Upper Primary School in Chingmeirong, Lamnganbi hopes for a resolution to the crisis so she can reunite with her old companions Christina, Tamoyai, Matouleibi, Saphaba and others who were studying together at Rayburn High School back at Churachandpur.


With no idea about the whereabouts of her old friends and the ongoing crisis, she expressed her desire to return to the comfort of her home and play together with her old friends.

Amid the trials faced by the family, a heartwarming moment took place on June 2 when the Weaning Ceremony of Rina's youngest daughter, Laangambi was celebrated within the confines of the relief camp.

Rina expressed her deepest gratitude to the locals of Chingmeirong, whose financial and emotional support has provided a glimmer of hope in their lives since their arrival at the camp.

Rina's story represents just one of the approximately 60,000 individuals displaced by the ongoing unrest in Manipur.

As these victims eagerly await the restoration of normalcy, they long for the opportunity to resettle in their hometowns with the aid of government-led resettlement initiatives.

The spirit of resilience embodied by Rina and countless others in the relief camps serves as a testament to the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity.

Their hope for a brighter future remains unwavering, reminding us all of the power of determination and the importance of supporting those affected by crises.


First published:


manipur violencedisplaced peoplerelief camp

B Rakesh Sharma

B Rakesh Sharma

Staff Reporter, Imphal


Top Stories

Loading data...

IFP Exclusive

Loading data...