Kwatha Fest launched

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Pothashang News Service

Imphal, October 27: Three-day Kwatha festival was kicked off today with poor attendance at Kwatha, only Meitei village near the Indo-Myanmar border in Tengnoupal District.

This is the second edition of the festival which aims to create exposure for the main source of livelihood of the villagers, Soibum, the popular Manipuri fermented bamboo shoots as such.

The festival is being organized by the Roof for Freedom (RFF), The Kwatha soibum festival organizing committee and Kwatha People Welfare Organization.

The Kwatha village has population of 327 of which 167 are males while 160 are females according to 2011 census. Its literacy rate was 56.08 % compared to 76.94 % of Manipur.

“Despite having central forces and state government, why no developmental works have been taken up till date for the development of Kwatha Village, the only Meitei village near the Indo-Myanmar Border” said president of Meitei Council Moreh, Thoiba.

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He said, apart from visiting to woe votes during election, none of the concern minister or MLA have taken up any kind of developmental works for the welfare of villagers of Kwatha under newly establish Tengnoupal District which is yet to be fully fledged.

It is very disappointing to see that till date villagers of Kwatha village have left neglected which clearly shows they underestimated their own people.“Why the concern MLA who have assured to take part at the opening function of the event fails to turn up?” said Thoiba.

Dr. Sarangthem Ibomcha, superintendant of Tengnoupal Police who attended the launching day said, it is very unfortunate that the opening of the event has witness poor attendance as the VIPs fails to turn up due to some unavoidable circumstances. Though they didn’t turn up from next year lets works together to make the fest as State level and full support from his side will be extended, he added.

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Since the villagers are facing numerous inconveniences in the production of bamboo soots and rice due to natural calamities, it will be better to sought for necessary help and available facilities from the government side if not one day threats of extinction of Kwatha village will come into reality, added the senior police officer.

Ibomcha further elaborated about Kwatha village and who they have stands strong as the only Meitei community near Indo-Myanmar border, till date.

Pacho Kom, Village Head of Khudengthabi, chief guest said, though we have mixed community, Kwatha village still lack of development.

Ningthoujam Kamal, chief of Kwatha Village; Semseitong, chief headman of Ganaphai; Haokip Letkhuthang, chief headman of Chalawa; RK Sanayaima, president of ACODOM; Tekcham Premabati Leima, president of Nupi Khunai Chaokhat Lamching Lup Moreh Ward No. 7 attended the event.

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The festival provides opportunity for people to explore this small village; to educate the villagers on how to sustain themselves with the natural resources they have. To also make them realize the importance of maintaining ecological balance which is one the main reasons for planting trees.

Musical bonanza will entertain the attendants through the night. Sight seeing and trekking will be parts of the festival.

Waikhom Munindro Kumar, advisor of Roof for Freedom, said, the festival has been organised with the aim of creating exposure for the main source of livelihood of the villagers, namely Soibum or fermented bamboo shoot.

He said that around 150 tents with a capacity for four people have been arranged for the festival.

Various hotels have also been arranged for the people who come to take part in the festival, he said.

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