Ema Keithel Commodities & Communities
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“Ema” is a word which every people from Manipur use to call their mother, with their deepest love for them. It wouldn’t be much to say that the role play by the mother in this part of region is quite extraordinary. Despite being a patriarchal society, many women have shown that they have equal capability of supporting their family in the worst time of their life. Also, women group like “Meira paibi “take a major leading in fighting whether it is for alcohol and drug abuse, stood for civil rights or to protest against draconian AFSFA. One substantial evidence of how significant and crucial the role of women in this society can be only translate through “Ema keithel - a unique market which is run only by the women. In Manipuri, ema means mother, kei- means storage and -thel means to spread out or to sell which literally means mothers’ market or women’s market. Situated in the centre of Manipur‘s capital city Imphal, it is the only market run by the women in the entire country. Traditionally, in Manipur society women mainly do all the buying for the family from household items like vegetables, children clothes etc. to items for many occasions like marriage and festival.And soon Ema keithel became the platform for largely number of women to join the economic responsibility of the state through trade and commerce. The beautiful part of this unique market is the fact that it’s not just a mere market, more than that it is a family, a society, an identity, a tradition and most importantly a way of life . Most of the products available here reflect the true spirit of local people whether it is the skilled local craftsman or hard-working farmer. Regardless of its continuous threat from new market strategy like online shopping, one can always say that the market survive until today because of all the indigenous products which are hard to get in any other shop. Many local products are now been replaced due to lack of support. Many micro-banker use many tactic to take advantage on the ground of poor education and financial condition of these women. But one should know, each day each women find their own courage and strength to save their family and keithel for a better future. There is a need to sensitize the people about the contribution of the community in producing these commodities which are available in Ema Keithel and to see the market in a different way.