Women vendors resume business at Ima Keithel

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced the reopening of the three Ima Keithel at Khwairamband at a function attended by a huge gathering of women vendors on Monday.


(PHOTO: IFP)

After a long wait, women vendors of Manipur's Ima Keithel, the three major markets, situated in the heart of the capital city Imphal, are back to normal business.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced the reopening of the three Ima Keithel at Khwairamband at a function attended by a huge gathering of women vendors on Monday (February 15).

The three only women markets were shut down as a preventive measure since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state in March 2020.

ima keithel, women market

(PHOTO: IFP)

Addressing the function, Biren lauded mothers of Ima markets for extending support and cooperation to the state government decision to shut the markets during the pandemic.

“The decision to close the markets was taken after consulting the mothers," the chief minister said.

The reopening of the Ima markets would provide a huge relief to the women vendors who have been struggling for a source of livelihood in the wake of the closure of the market. Hard-pressed with no means of income, they have been demanding the reopening of the market as other shops and business centres have been opening up again since the ebbing of the pandemic situation in the state.

Apart from the chief minister, Education Minister S Rajen Singh, MAHUD Minister Okram Henry and a few council of ministers attended the reopening function held at Ima Keithel.

The three Ima Keithel, with about 4,000 licensed women vendors, were ordered closed by the government since March 21 as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 in the state. In May 2020, as lockdown persisted with COVID-19 spread in the state, the women vendors in Imphal have little choice but to take back their products stored in the markets. The women vendors had then expressed their plight to the Imphal Free Press in an interaction with those who had come to take back their belongings.

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First Published:Feb. 19, 2021, 12:03 a.m.

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