Vijayalakshmi Sougaijam, an 18-year-old school student who is touring seven north eastern states was accorded a warm welcome in Thoubal district on Wednesday night when she arrived there in her bicycle from Imphal. She will be touring Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh to create awareness on women harassment. The tour which began on Wednesday is likely to be concluded on November 30. Social Welfare Minister Miss Mirabai Ahoijam who had flagged off her tour contributed Rs. 20,000 for Ms. Vijayalakshmi’s tour expense.

Ms. Vijayalakshmi, who hails from Lakhimpur village at Jiribam bordering Assam, was propelled to take up the mission as there has been increasing atrocities against women and children in the region.

Though she plans to complete her tour in three months, it may be delayed due to torrential rains and landsips in the hostile terrains. Manipuri settlers in the north-eastern states of Assam and Tripura in particular, have planned a grand reception for her on her arrival.

It may be noted that another intrepid woman, Sharmila, has been on fast unto death since November 4, 2000 demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. She has already created a world record and drawn attention of various national and international human rights organisations.