Manipur Assembly Elections: How Irom Sharmila is using cycle to make a point about poll funding

Irom Sharmila's PRJA is the first political party in Manipur which switched to the concept of online crowd-funding

Every morning Irom Sharmila pedals away from her home in New Checkon locality of Imphal on her Hercules Captain Shakti bicycle to her office where she is preparing for her party People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA)’s campaign in the forthcoming Manipur Assembly election.

After her 16-year-long hunger strike in Imphal, the 44-year-old Human rights crusader is enjoying this taste of freedom which she calls a style statement too.

Her passion for cycling has also shown her a way to get close to the people of her state and spread her vision to seek support for her party. Another upside to it, she feels is that it saves her money and keeps her healthy.

Sharmila, along with her young team, launched the PRJA on October 16, 2016. She will be contesting from Thoubal constituency of Manipur against Chief Minister Ibobi Singh.

In most of her campaign, she is heard speaking about changing the VIP culture of the state. The battle that she fought over the years for against Arms Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) still remains close to her heart. Corruption, social injustice, and emphasis on introducing youth into politics are the other things that she is focusing on in the upcoming elections.

Her party, PRJA, is the first political party in Manipur which switched to the concept of online crowd-funding. Her fund-raising campaign #tenforchange is also creating ripples among voters’ especially youngsters, where the team is collecting Rs 10 as a token from their supporters.

Out of 60 assembly seats, PRJA has selected 6 candidates to contest 2017 polls.

“Our party initiated a step forward in laying a strong foundation for democracy in regional politics. We have young competent leaders in our team, who will sincerely work for the betterment of Manipur. Every individual in our party has a big role in shaping the destiny of our land and youth should actively participate in the movement of change” said Sharmila.