Loon Gangte: Courage under fire
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Loon Gangte: Courage under fire


india Updated: Nov 29, 2005 20:52 IST

I am from Churachandpur in Manipur. My friends tell me my slight frame is deceptive. When I move there's an unmistakable bounce in my steps. So I am told. I am HIV+. It is strange but I feel I have been living with it for the past 10 years. It may sound cocky to some but I instinctively knew I would get the virus.

Growing up in Churachandpur, mine was a sufficiently well provided for upbringing. My father worked as a client for a company based in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu while my mother ran a woolen wear shop from home.

What should have been studies, friends and a carefree existence was not so. It was in class IX that I took my first shot of drugs. Being young and living in Manipur, was synonymous with drug users. I have been an Intravenous Drug User (IDU) for the past 15 years of my life. It was only in 1997 that I freed myself from the clutches of drugs.

Why did I get into it in the first place? When you are young and impressionable, you want to try new things. And when you have access to the purest Heroin in the world, you get hooked. Manipur falls in the drug trafficking belt. It shares its borders with Burma, where much of the world's finest drugs emerge from.

First Published: Nov 30, 2003 20:09 IST