IMPHAL, November 6: The sixth edition of annual Chinjak Festival was kicked off today at the Yaipha Lamjing Lup Ground, Pishum Ningombam Leikai, Imphal, organised by the Innovative Youth Society.
Ak Mirabai, minister of Social Welfare and Cooperation, government of Manipur speaking at the inaugural function as the chief guest expressed concern over the rising practice among the food producers of using harmful chemicals for more productivity.
She said it is a common practice, especially among the vegetable growers to use chemicals on their products just to earn profits, which is a harmful practice.
Expressing concern over major health problems which are fast gaining momentum in the State, Mirabai maintained that consumption of adulterated food could be one of the reasons. “It is true that there is no food policy as such in the State, but at the same time public must take equal responsibility in maintaining food hygiene”, she said.
She observed, “The kind of food we consume could have effect not only on our physical well-being but also our mental and spiritual well-being.”
Mirabai lamented that in today’s fast pace life, the youngsters in particular have the tendency to consume fast foods without knowing their ill-effects. This may be because the food from outside are attractive and fashionable to eat, or may be our own foods have certain deficiencies. We need to pay more attention to this, she added.
L Ibomcha, MLA of Keishamthong Assembly constituency speaking as the guest of honour lauded the endeavour of the IYS for promoting and revitalising the indigenous foods of the State, which is very timely when our cultural identity is fading away day by day.
He also appreciated the organiser for including the ‘Save Nambul River’ campaign along with the festival, saying that it is unfortunate that even educated people have the habit of dumping garbage into Nambul.
Kh Athouba, managing director of IYS highlighting the essence of the function said that it has been a humble effort of the IYS to promote indigenous food of the State.
“We have been organising the festival at different districts, but this is the first time it is being organise at the Imphal West District, as we have been compelled by the incompletion of Sanjenthong Bridge”, he said.
He said the condition of the Nambul River flowing along the festival venue is appalling. “Looking at the river, we felt the need of starting a campaign along with the Manipur Cycle Club as well”. During the festival, public discussions will also take place on ways and means to save the Nambul, he added.
It may be mentioned that there are 35 stalls altogether taking part in the 10 day festival, including Thai and Myanmar stalls. Acclaimed actor Tonthoi’s ‘Phormon Phola’ is also part of the festival like the previous festivals.
Th Ranabir, joint secretary, COHSEM also graced the function as the guest of honour.