R-Day tableau to bear Ima Keithel, Lotus Silk


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Imphal/N Delhi, Jan 25
A unique market in Manipur where the traders are only women will be shown at the Republic Day parade tableau of the North East State on Friday.
Ima Keithel, or Mother's Market, in the State capital Imphal is an important example of nari shakti (women power) where women's central role in socio-economic activities drives economic development, the tableau-makers said in a statement.
The parade in central Delhi's Kartavya Path this year is themed on Viksit Bharat (developed Bharat), with a focus on women empowerment.
The Manipur tableau also shows a woman collecting lotus stems from Loktak lake, one of the largest lakes in the North East region, 50 km south of Imphal. Women are seen rowing small boats and collecting lotus stems.
Named "Thambalgi Langla" or Lotus Threads in Meiteilon, a father and son from Imphal West designed the tableau. N Ibohal Meetei, the chief designer, in the statement said several newly inaugurated Ima Keithels across Manipur have empowered thousands of women to achieve financial independence.
The chief designer's son and assistant, Ningombam Sanjib Meitei, pointed to how Ima Keithel fostered the "spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship" among the women of Manipur. Some of Manipur's globally acclaimed woven cloth made by women include the Leirum Phi, Moirang Phi, and Mayek-Naibi. Two of them have Geographical Indication (GI) tags, which is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and have qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
"Continuing this legacy, Bijiyashanti Tongbram from Thanga village, nestled in the heart of Loktak lake, recently became India's first lotus silk producer," Sanjib Meitei said in the statement.
Lotus silk is counted among one of the finest fabrics produced in the country.
"She not only employs many local women, but also exports lotus silk to other countries, establishing India as the world's fourth Nation to export lotus silk... bringing immense pride to the nation. Her remarkable achievements earned her the prestigious 'Changemaker of the North East 2020' award," Sanjib Meitei said.
A building at the end of the tableau is a replica of Ima Keithel. The sides of the tableau's end are decorated with popular fabrics, including the two GI-tagged ones.
The tableaux of other States also focus on women power and empowerment.
Madhya Pradesh's tableau will show what the state has achieved by integrating women directly into the development process through its welfare schemes. Madhya Pradesh's first woman fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force - Squadron Leader Avani Chaturvedi - will be seen standing beside a fighter plane model.
Rajasthan's tableau will be a demonstration of the development of women's handicraft industries along with the festive culture of the state. Haryana's tableau will show the government programme 'Mera Parivar, Meri Pehchan'.
Odisha's tableau will also display women's involvement in handicrafts and handloom sectors; Chhattisgarh's will reflect women's dominance in the tribal communities of Bastar.
Andhra Pradesh will showcase transforming school education and making students globally competitive; Ladakh's tableau will show the Indian women ice hockey team, whose players also include from Ladakh.  NDTV