Pothashang News Service: Imphal, January 18, 2020: Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh on Saturday opened the 1st Chief Minister’s Indigenous Martial Arts (Thang-Ta/Cheibi) Meet, 2020 at Khuman Lampak indoor stadium.
Around 1500 participants representing 43 different associations are vying for a total of 159 medals in the competition which will continue till January 22. Cash prizes and medals consisting of Rs. 15,000, Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5000 would be given to gold, silver and bronze medal winners respectively. The overall team champion, the overall team runner up and the overall team third place would receive cash prizes of Rs 1 lakh, Rs 70,000 and Rs 50,000 with trophies respectively. The best disciplined team, the overall boys team champion and the overall girls team champion will also be awarded Rs 20,000 each.
Biren said Thang-Ta played a vital role in protecting Manipur from invaders in its 2000 years of civilization. However, it apparently had lost its essence in the past few decades. As such, the state government has been actively exploring means to revive the age-old art form, he added.
The state government decided to organise a martial arts championship as a calendar event every year towards this end. The government’s intention is to encourage the youth and children to learn martial arts so that they stay away from drugs and intoxicants. It would also help not only in building a healthy society but also in inculcating discipline among them, Birkenhead said.
He expressed his desire to set up martial arts learning centres in every village of the state so that different martial art forms including those of hill areas can be popularised in every nook and corner of Manipur.
Deputy chief minister Y. Joykumar, works minister Th. Biswajit, consumer affairs, foid and public dustribution minuster Karam Shyam, youth affairs and sports minister Letpao Haokip, agriculture minister V. Hangkhanlian, sicial welfare minister Nemcha Kipgen and Titural King of Manipur Leishemba Sanajaoba attended the opening function. MLAs, government officials and Thang-Ta gurus were also present at the function.
Letpao said the present generation should leave no stone unturned in preserving the old indigenous games, which are the important components of Manipur’s culture. He said the meet is the brainchild of the chief minister. He also added that the Government would consider to include different indigenous games of hill areas as well in the next year’s championship.