Manipur’s all-women run markets reopen after 11 months

Correspondent IMPHAL, Feb 15 | Publish Date: 2/15/2021 1:00:19 PM IST

After almost 11 months, Ima markets (all women run markets) in the heart of Manipur’s capital city reopened on Monday for resumption of normal business activities.

The three multi-storey market-sheds remained closed following an order of the state government on March 21 last year. The closure of the markets was related to precautionary measures being taken up by the state government to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The state government decided to reopen the markets with COVID-19 situation in the state significantly improved in the last around two months.

While reopening the markets, chief minister N Biren Singh announced that vendor license free for the women vendors of Ima Markets would be exempted for the current year. “Government takes the decision considering the hardship faced by the women vendors during the COVID-19 pandemic as the markets remained closed for nearly a year,” Singh said.

The chief minister graced the reopening function held at the market as chief guest. He said that the government had to close the markets as precautionary measures amid the outbreak of the pandemic.  He stated that the government had successfully contained the spread of COVID-19 and was able to save the precious life of the people mainly due the contribution and responsible decision of women vendors to close the markets.

Stating that the pandemic had made humans learn a lesson about the importance of preserving nature, Singh called for a change of mindset and move towards a clean environment to prevent mankind from such other diseases in future.  He also urged the officials of MAHUD department to supply garbage bags to women vendors so that garbage and spoiled vegetables could be put to the same and collected for proper disposal. 

“Such conduct would be helpful in maintaining cleanliness in and around the marketplaces and prevent the women vendors from certain diseases,” he said.

The chief minister asked the women vendors to allot a day to the government once in a month for maintenance and cleaning work of the market areas.  He further added that construction work on roads along the markets would be completed soon. 

He further appealed to the women vendors to bring up their grievances to the concerned authority before resorting to any strikes or rallies. 

Later, the chief minister announced the new names of the three Ima Markets as Leimarel Sidabi Ima Keithel for Market No. 1, Imoinu Ima Keithel for Market No. 2 and Phouoibi Ima Keithel for Market No. 3.

State education minister Sorokhaibam Rajen, CAF & PD minister Thokchom Satyabrata, MAHUD minister Okram Henry, officials and others attended the function.


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