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Tribal culture, source of strength for Manipuris
Published on 20 Apr. 2010 12:01 AM IST
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Manipur is home to different tribes who live together in perfect harmony. Located nearly 70 kilometers from Imphal, the Machi Block in Chandel District is surrounded by green mountains and is completely cut off from the modern world.
The 72 villages in the area that have a population of 24, 000, is mainly inhabited by the Marin, Kuki and Khoibu tribes. They live in houses made of tin and bamboo, stated Sinlung.
Their main source of income is weaving and farming. Banana, pumpkin, and rice are the main crops, cultivated. “We go to a factory at Mao to get seedlings of passion fruits for Rs.2 each. Our forefathers have been growing bananas for a long time. We are just carrying forward the legacy of banana cultivation,”said Maenai, local of the Machi village.
A luxurious lifestyle is not for these people, but basic amenities are. They want potable water, good healthcare, education for the children and better roads.
Recently, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, a central scheme was implemented in the region with the aim of improving connectivity. Likewise, the National Rural Heath Mission programme is also providing better health facilities to the region. Locals opine that the government is actively involved in development works. “The Government is helping us with developmental work in our village. Roads and drains are under construction. We are hoping for further development of our village after the district council election,” said Kapingam, of the Machi village. “The Government has introduced various developmental schemes in our village. But their proper implementation in various far-flung areas as yet has not been achieved,” said Hopson, another resident. The Machi Block has a school too, which caters to the educational needs of the people.
There is hope for development and progress from the forthcoming Manipur District Autonomous Council elections, which will be held after a gap of 20 years. People in the region are happy with the decline in militancy.
Locals opine that the situation has improved in the state. “There has been much improvement in the law and order situation in the area.
The governance or the reach of an ability to access the villages has sufficiently improved in last few years. There is more effective domination by forces particularly Assam Rifles and other forces in Chandel district. I am grateful to that,” said H Dilip Singh, District Commissioner, Chandel District.
Kukis are even supporting elections and actively participating in Government programs.
“UNC is against the election. Only Nagas are against it, not Kukis. They have some grievances,” said Hopson, a local, Machi village. The tribals in Machi Block have witnessed a change in their lifestyle with the ongoing development work. And things will only get better with time.

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