With Romio on his documentary ‘Kauna’

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Kauna (Scirpus lacustris L), the spongy water reed of Manipur is one of the nature’s gifts to the economically backward people of Manipur, India. Hailing from Cyperaceae family, the aquatic plant is known to people of the state since time immemorial. The flora is so deeply associated with the inhabitants of this region that, we can strongly argue with the fact that every house in this regions will have at least one or two products made of this wonderful plant.

The dangerous influx of low-cost machine made artificial décors in and around us, has led to the squeezing of self-reliance cottage industry and extinction of this sector in agrarian economy like Manipur. The alternative means of employment generation is to create new avenues for youth and nevertheless, development skill enhancement activities too. Problem of unemployment in a state like Manipur, can be solved to an extent with the development of cottage industries, resulting in changing attitude towards the sector. And this is what exactly documentary filmmaker, Romio Khangemba of Singjamei believes and thrust to take up a documentary venture on Kauna.

“Exploring entrepreneurship and alternative vocations for youths through traditional handloom, handicraft industry and finding market for its products could ensure a viable society in the state,” Romio further said.

The 25-minutes-long documentary highlight the potential source of income and employment through cultivation and manufacturing of its products. From being an unused plant grown wildly to marshy areas in Manipur, it is now cultivated in different parts of the state after discovering the dynamical usability. Basketries, flower vases, mattress, sofas and handbags are some of the intriguing home decor of Kauna. Ironically, it also laments the reluctance of educated youth to take up this occupation of cultivation and making of Kauna products to meet  their ends.

Earlier, by-products of Kauna were meant for local needs. However, in the recent past  the demand of this products in international markets has increased phenomenally. Innovations in various shapes, sizes and styles can be credited to consumer’s consciousness about the product. People are more inclined to this products because of its bio-degradable, non-toxic and air conditioning properties.

Besides, awareness created by artisans who had participated in national and international fairs and exhibitions said, “demand for this material is found to be growing day by day which gives an extra mileage in the development of  new designs to suit the ever increasing customers’ requirement and satisfaction. With the incresliceasing demand in the local and overseas markets, more skilled workers are required. The launch of a website by one of the shops in UK is a great example of increasing popularity of the same”.

When asked about his inclination towards making of this documentary film, Romio said, “It is an effort to create awareness about the importance and eco-friendly characteristics of Kauna in today’s alarming juncture of global warming.”

Through this medium, he appealed especially the youths to take part in the development activities of small scale industries, so that our younger generation can be economically self-reliable and dependent.

Presently he is working on his next documentary film “Yaithaba”, based on toxicology.

“Cholom” a documentary on classical masculinity dance of Manipur and “PUNG- Rhythm of the Paradise”, documentary on Manipuri percussion Pung (Drum) were screened at 4th International Documentary & Short film Festival, 2011, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerela, and MIFF (Mumbai International Film Festival, organised by Ministry of Information and Broadcast, Government of India at Mumbai in 2010 respectively.

Kauna
Kauna

Here are a few projects on which he has worked.

  1. “Educational Open Courseware’s (e-learning) development video course”

CET, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India

Producer: Romio Khangemba (2007-2012)

Telecast: EKLAVYA, a technical educational channel.

 

  1. “Technology Vision 2035″

A Centre for Educational Technology,

IIT Guwahati Production.
Executed for TIFAC, Dept. of Science & Technology GOI.
Producer: Romio Khangemba
Genre: Documentary

  1. “Parallel Computing Research”

A Centre for Educational Technology,
IIT Guwahati Production.
In association with Intel Labs. Bangalore & IITG Computer Science Dept.
Producer: Romio Khangemba
Genre: Documentary

4.      “Plastic Cell Concrete Filled Block Pavement” (Base on Transportation Engineering)” 
Dept. of Civil IIT Guwahati, India.

Producer/ Director: Romio Khangemba
Genre: Documentary

  1. “PUNG- Rhythm of the Paradise”, documentary on Manipuri percussion Pung (Drum)

Asst. Director: Romio Khangemba

Won “The Best Non-Feature on Biographical, Art & Culture” in

7th Manipur State Film Festival, 2010 organised by Manipur Film Development Corporation

Genre: Documentary

  1. “CHOLOM” (Base on Classical Masculinity dance of Manipur), a documentary project funded by Film Division of India

Asst. Director: Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

  1. “Prajuktie Bikalpa”, Commission program of DDK Guwahati based on IITG’s energy research

Asst. Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

  1. “Woman Empowerment” – DDK Imphal.

Asst. Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

  1. “BAMBOO- the green gold” – DDK Imphal commissioned program

Asst. Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

  1. “Biomedical Waste”- A commission program of DDK Imphal.

Asst. Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

  1. “Leprosy is Curable”, a commission program of DDK Imphal.

Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

  1. “Ningol Pukning”, a commission program (based on a life story of a HIV infected Manipuri lady) of DDK Imphal.

Art Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Tele Film

  1. “Eikhoida Lakpa Mee” commission program (based on the importance of protecting One’s cultural identity) of DDK Imphal.

Production Controller – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Tele Film

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