Manipur Heritage Expo underway, 2475 looms distributed

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Imphal: A total of 2475 fly-shuttle looms were also distributed to weavers from across the state under Upgradation of Loom Scheme as part of the ‘100 Action Points For First 100 Days’ of the new state government.

The looms were distributed on the first day of 3-day Manipur Heritage Expo held at City Convention Centre, here, on Monday.

Dummy tokens for the looms were distributed to selected 16 weavers.

Biren thanked the Amazon team present at the inaugural function for acknowledging the importance and uniqueness of the state’s handloom and handicraft.

An MoU was also signed between the Manipur Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation (MHHDC) Ltd. represented by its managing director E. Jeeten Singh and Amazon Sellers Private Ltd, represented by its head, public policy (Ecommerce) Udyay Mehta.

MHHDC has already been tied up with Amazon since 2020 and has been taking a key responsibility in providing an e-market platform for the state’s handloom and handicraft products during the Covid-19 pandemic through its own e-market platform called panthoibi.com.

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Now, with the signing of the MoU, MHHDC will take a leading role for marketing the state handloom and handicraft products through Amazon.

It is indeed very fortunate for the state to have a platform under Amazon and the interest shown by Amazon to our handloom and handicraft products shows not only the uniqueness, but also the quality of our products, chief minister N. Biren Singh said.

Now that the Amazon platform is available, weavers will not face the lack of marketing space for their finished products, he said, adding that already 250 handloom and handicraft items have been uploaded on the e-marketing platform.

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Speaking on the importance of Geographical Indications (GI), he said it is indeed necessary to GI tag the traditional dresses, craft items of the state’s tribes.

There should be no compromise on quality, Biren said, explaining the need for zero tolerance against corruption. He said today the state’s handloom and handicraft has a place in the world stage because of the hardwork of our weavers and artisans.

“We are proud of our handloom and handicraft products,” chief minister N.Biren Singh said.

He urged the weavers to inform him if there were any defects on the looms which were distributed.

He expressed the need to preserve and encourage our handicraft and traditional items. He appreciated the skill, talents of the people of the state and expressed pride in being a Manipuri and an Indian.

The rural economy depends on those working from the ground level and that without improving rural economy the state’s economy cannot be improved.

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Ensuring all assistance, the chief minister wished the weavers and artisans success in their endeavours.

Weavers and artisans can also seek financial assistance under the Start-up Scheme, he said and informed that the budget for the Start-Up scheme has been increased to Rs 100 crore from this financial year.

Minister Nemcha Kipgen said, “Our handloom and handicraft is known internationally.” According to the National handloom Census Report, 2019, Manipur has around 2.12 lakh handloom weavers, around 2.11 lakh looms and around 2 lakh handicraft artisans, she added.

The inaugural function was also attended by MLA S. Rajen Singh, MLA L. Rameshwar Meetei, chief secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar, additional chief secretary P. Vaiphei and secretary Michael Achom among others.

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