Laishram Jemika, 16 years from Thongju, Imphal East studies in X standard at Eastern Janitor High School. Her mother Mrs. Robita is a weaver and has been struggling to support the family with little earning she gets. In her family there are four members – grandmother, mother, herself and a younger sister named Ms Bemika.
Thongju is one of the hotspot areas of intravenous drug user in Manipur. The village is located on the National Highway – 39 which is a main illicit trafficking route in the state. Her father Mr Korabin, had contracted the HIV from his drug injecting friends whom he had shared drugs in the past. After the birth of Jemika and Bemika, she came to know about her husband’s past habit and suspected that he might have contracted the virus. Her suspicion strengthened when her husband became seriously ill and had to be hospitalized.
In 2009 when FXB India Suraksha identified the family as one of the vulnerable families. The whole family members except her grandmother were referred to a testing centre. As suspected Mrs Robita and her husband were detected to be positive with HIV. Fortunately Jemika and Bemika were not infected.
Mr Korabin worked as a mason and tried hard to fulfil the needs of the family. Even after taking ARV drug he couldn’t recover completely. After a prolonged illness he passed away in 2014.
Laishram Jemika wants to become a doctor. Today when FXBIS has chosen her for the Suraksha Scholarship she believes that her ambition could be fulfilled. Though heartbroken at losing her father to HIV in 2014 , it also strengthened her resolve to fight against menace drug trafficking in her home state, Manipur.