World's largest, iconic all-women-run market 'Ima Keithal' reopens after 11 months
Agartala, Feb 16: World's largest and iconic all-women-run market 'Ima Keithal', located in the Manipur state capital, was formally reopened on Monday after 11 months, bringing smile on the faces of over 3,600 women traders. It can be seen that the market, which has a history of over 500 years, was closed on March 21, 2020, as a preventive measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to reports, Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who was the chief guest at the reopening, announced that women vendors of the market would be exempted from the vendor's license fee for the year.
"The government took the decision considering the hardship faced by the women vendors during the pandemic as the markets remained closed for nearly a year," he said.
"Following the shutting down of the trading activities in the big market, the economy of the entire state was badly hit, especially the women vendors of the Ima Market, who are the sole bread earner of their family," he had tweeted earlier.
A study by social researcher Serto Tondana Kom revealed that the closure of the large market has caused a loss of Rs 3,879 crore.
The study further stated that a total of 3,614 license holder women vendors registered with the Imphal Municipal Corporation and having stalls at Ima market had faced severe hardships in making ends meet for their families and urged the state government continuously to allow them to restart their business.