Imphal, Jan 3:
Should women be confined to household chores or are they limited with only some work like weaving as their only means to earn livelihood as the patriarchal Manipuri society classified works that are supposed to be done by women and men? The predominated mindsets of women that suppress them from picking up of jobs of their choice have been social lacunae since the past many years. But not everything remains the same in some part of the state. Womenfolk of Kairembikhok village in Thoubal district dares classification of jobs between male and female and chose carpentry jobs as a means of livelihood.
Women of this village now become a role model of the state by earning awesome income which is more than enough to support their respective family. It is not that the women of this village set up carpentry that are exclusively for women but these women joined their male family members and equally contributed even much better from the male counterpart when it comes to elegancy and aestheticism of the carpentry products.
While picking the carpentry works these women of Kairembikhok village never left out their household chores that are traditionally followed in Manipuri society since time immemorial.
Interestingly what provoked the women folk from joining the carpentry work is that almost all families of the village lives on carpentry job.
Seleibam Ibecha Devi a lady carpenter, while talking to Imphal Times said that the women first entered to this profession as helper. What we women did was helping in burnishing or painting and the amount they earn for the kind of service was from Rs. 300 to 400. However, as some started learning the skill of carpentry job they are able to help in decorative furniture items like table, bed, almirah etc. Ibecha added.
Kairembikhok Village is located at a foothill which is about 9 Km east from Thoubal district head quarter. It has a total household of around 100 and the total voter in this village is around 1500. The village has a government primary school where a student can study upto class 5. After completion of the primary school students of this village have to go either at Wangjing , Khangabok or Thoubal for further study. A Primary Health Sub Centre set up in this village some 30 years back survives with no staffs, building and without even a signboard.
Rabi Takhellambam, a resident of Kairembikhok Mayai Leikai, ThoubaI District has been in the field of Journalism for more than 10 years. Rabi, is well known for his reporting from Thoubal side and Indo-Myanmar border. Rabi is also a member of All Manipur Working Journalist Union, the parent body of Journalist Union in Manipur. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]