Ima Keithel (Mothers’ Market), a market managed entirely by 3500+ women in the heart of Imphal, capital of Manipur. Ima Keithel is divided into different sections based on the commodities for sale – cloths, fish & meat, vegetables, etc. After the visiting Kangla fort, Imphal war cemetery and Koirengei Airfield, when I reached Ima Keithel it was already dark. Some sections of the market were already closed. But the vegetables and fish & meat sections were alive with the help of candle lights.
Running this market is not an easy task for the Mothers – they were threatened with evacuations numerous times. Political unrest and frequent curfews in Manipur, one of the most volatile states in India, is also taking its toll on the sales. Please read this news article to get the complete picture of the situation. But don’t expect to see any anxious and unhappy faces here. You get to meet confident and cheerful Mothers. They were all happy to pose for the photo 🙂