Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh handed over a cash amount of Rs 1,10,000 to Laibi Oinam, a street vendor cum auto driver who volunteered to drop a recovered COVID-19 patient from Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal East to Kamjong district covering eight hours of journey on the intervening night of May 31 and June 1.
The cash reward was sponsored by some entrepreneurs from Manipur along with Manipuri Diasporas from US, UK, Canada and Singapore as an encouragement to her for her humane and heroic act and service.
Laibi Oinam, a resident of Pangei Bazaar, Imphal East, is a mother of two sons and is the sole breadwinner of the family.
On May 31, Laibi came in rescue of a 22-year-old patient who recovered from COVID-19 and was looking to reach home which is around 100-kilometre away. There were no vehicles or ambulances around but Laibi agreed to ferry Chithung home in her auto rickshaw.
A documentary film based on her life entitled ‘Auto Driver’ by Meena Longjam won many accolades including best social issue film in the non-feature category at the 63rd National Film Awards in 2015 and Best Short Documentary in the Audience Choice category at the 2017 Women’s Voices Now Film Festival.
Apart from this, a number of articles have been published about her in many national and local newspapers and journals for breaking the gender stereotypes and glass ceiling.