New Delhi: Manipuris have raised their voice against mass production of the state’s traditional cloth, ‘leirum phee’, as ‘Modi gamcha’ by weavers in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen donning it as face mask.
The Directorate of Handloom and Textiles in Manipur also wrote to the Ministry of Textiles to stop this bulk production of the ‘gamcha face mask’ in order to safeguard the interests of Manipuri weavers.
The directorate has also cited “emotional discontentment” among Manipuris who have slammed the insensitivity of factory owners in the Uttar Pradesh town for copying their traditional design and printing it for mass profit.
“The emotions of people of Manipur ran beyond imagination,” K. Lamlee Kamei, director of the Manipur handloom and textiles department, said in the letter addressed to the development commissioner of Union textiles ministry.
The letter says how the traditional ‘leirum phee’ has cultural and historical importance for the people of Manipur. It also states that the directorate has started the process of acquiring a geographical indication (GI) tag for the cloth.
The red and white scarf was widely publicised by Prime Minister Modi during his nationwide address on 14 April when he announced the second phase of Covid-19 lockdown.
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Bhutanese entrepreneur repairs embankment for 500 Assam farmers
Drup Sanam Dukpa, a Bhutanese entrepreneur, has rebuilt one of the major culvert embankments along the India-Bhutan border in Assam’s Baksa district as a gesture of goodwill.
The villagers of Bagajuli, Kalipur, Hatiduba, Santipur, Mariampur, Patkijuli, Belkhuti, Angarkata, Kawli, Darrangapar and Goibari in Baksa are dependent on waters flowing downstream from Bhutan. However, work on the damaged culvert could not be done by the authorities in Assam due to the lockdown restrictions.
While farmers from these villages had brought the matter to the notice of Baksa’s Tamulpur MLA, Emanuel Mushahary, it was Dukpa from across the border who finally offered to help.
The entrepreneur, who owns a number of companies, including SD Eastern Bhutan Ferro Silicon Pvt Ltd, reportedly spent lakhs of rupees to rebuild the embankment with the help of Bhutanese workers. The embankment helps cultivators utilise waters diverted in five directions downstream.
The rebuilt structure has benefitted at least 500 villagers of Assam, confirmed Maheswar Narzari and Ganesha Limbu, the president and secretary, respectively, of a local embankment management committee.
Pandemic may push half of Assam into poverty: Study
A new study, sponsored by the Assam government, has found that 50 per cent of Assam’s population may be pushed into poverty if the state’s current unemployment rate of 8 per cent increases by more than two folds due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The study, titled ‘Report on Economy of Assam’, was commissioned by the State Innovation and Transformation Aayog in collaboration with the Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development in Assam.
“As a consequence of Covid-19, it is estimated that 67 lakh people’s livelihood will face vulnerabilities of myriad kinds,” it says.
The report predicts that Covid-19 will increase unemployment in the state by 15.7 lakh to reach 21.7 lakh. Consequently, the unemployment rate will also climb from the present 8 to 27 per cent. This, in turn, will push the poverty rate in Assam to 50 per cent.
Assam boxer Lovlina Borgohain nominated for Arjuna
The Boxing Federation of India has nominated Assam boxer Lovlina Borgohain for the prestigious Arjuna Award.
Sports Awards Nominations!🥊
. @LovlinaBorgohai, @Simranjitboxer & @boxermanishksk have been recommended for Arjuna Awards by Boxing Federation of India for the National Sports Awards 2020. #boxing @AjaySingh_SG I @KirenRijiju pic.twitter.com/vbY4FAdGcL
— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) June 1, 2020
Borgohain had in March this year secured an Olympic berth in the 69kg category. The 22-year-old from Assam’s Golaghat is the state’s first ever sportswoman to qualify for the Olympics.
She was recently also ranked third in the world in the 69kg weight category by the International Olympic Committee’s Boxing Task Force.
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