Bimolata was born in a remote village in East Imphal. Shortly after marrying in 2000, she realized that her husband had a long history of intravenous drug use and supported his habit by stealing from his family. He would often disappear for days at a time. In his absence and as a result of his behavior, Bimolata and her children struggled. They often went hungry, and Bimolata’s two children dropped out of school because the family couldn’t pay the education fees. Unfortunately, this story is far too common in East Imphal.
Located in landlocked Manipur, East Imphal is very close to the notorious “Golden Triangle,” which links Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, and has served as the major transit route for illegal international drug trafficking since the beginning of the 1970s. As a result, the region of Manipur is plagued by drug addiction and HIV/AIDS.
After joining an FXBVillage in 2010, Bimolata and her two children were immediately tested for HIV after FXB learned that her husband was HIV-positive. Fortunately, the results came back negative. Feeling empowered and supported by the FXBVillage community, Bimolata was able to confront her husband about his drug use and gradually bring about positive change in her family.
Now, Bimolata is one the most successful members in the Women’s Economic Development Group who produces Kauna (i.e., water reed) craft items. And thanks to the support of the FXBVillage program and her sustainable income, Bimolata was able to put her two children back in school. As a way to celebrate her success, Bimolata recently bought herself a new silk shawl to honor the new life she has created for herself and her family.