Manipur Diaries - A Bike Ride through unexplored Kakching

22nd May 2022
Photo of Manipur Diaries - A Bike Ride through unexplored Kakching by santosh lekhak

Sundays for me are not routine, for that is the only day in the week when I'm in my true self. My plans for the next Sunday start taking shape right  from Monday onwards. ☺️.

This Sunday me and my daughter were out on my bike exploring this small part of Manipur which is not much heard of - Kakching. The newly formed district of Kakching has been the hub of maximum paddy cultivation. The small town is said to have given maximum number of Civil Services Officers to the state of Manipur.

The month of May is known for a salubrious climate with scanty rains turning the landscapes to a beautiful shade of green. On our way back from Tengnoupal we took a small detour from the Asian Highway and entered this narrow lane which after passing through a small village opened up in the vast fields which were generally barren during this time of the year. A small agricultural drain ran along the road. As we were nearing the Kakching bazar, we saw these women lined up along this small drain with their home made fishing nets. Fascinating it was for me to witness women catching small little fishes on a Sunday when most people look to rest in their homes. We didn't waste any time and had a long conversation chatting with these elderly  women mostly in their 40s and above. My little one did enjoy her first lessons of fishing with a makeshift net 

From time immemorial, Manipur has witnessed the significant contribution of women in our society. Since the economy of the people of Manipur is basically agrarian, about 70% of the people are engaged in agriculture and fishing as livelihood. The women folk of Manipur work as an important agent in promoting the socio-economic and cultural development of the state. Women in Manipur, irrespective of their class & status, perform all the domestic works in the family and are responsible for the maintenance of the family.

Most of the fishing equipments are also locally made by young girls to aged women of the fishing communities. The majorly used raw materials are bamboos, canes and  strong threads.

To me and my 10 year old girl it was indeed a day well spent with lots of learning. I salute the hardwork and grit of Manipuri women in bringing up the society and yet maintaining the age old traditions of the land.

The yellow colour is that of a sunscreen lotion locally available from the border town of Moreh near Myanmar. It's very common to see women faces covered under its thick layer especially during the sowing season of paddy.

Photo of Kakching by santosh lekhak
Photo of Kakching by santosh lekhak
Photo of Kakching by santosh lekhak

I was really surprised to see their catch... Small fishes only good enough to prepare a broth may be.

Photo of Kakching by santosh lekhak
Photo of Kakching by santosh lekhak