Promoting people to people contact via trade and commerce.
No losers here for this is to the benefit of all, particularly to the State and it is with this spirit that the observance of the 1st Mao Market Day was held on July 25 in front of Pukhri Achouba at Khoyathong.
Correction, the very site where the Mao market stands, albeit as a temporary measure.
Everyone knows the genesis of how the Mao market came to be established at Imphal and the sense of camaraderie and the co-operation extended by different sections of the people in welcoming the traders from Mao is something which should be duly noted.
For the traders from Mao, who come here to sell their produce, it should also be seen as something more than a trade activity and see it as a means to promote people to contact, a point which has been underlined in this column numerous times earlier.
People to people contact, this is one sure way of clearing the sense of distrust between people of different communities.
Imphal people who go to shop at the temporary Mao market should take care to see that they do not end up sending the wrong message in trying to make a killing in the bargaining process.
This is where the State Government or the Imphal Municipal Corporation may step in and see how to regulate the prices of the commodities being sold there.
Such a measure can go some significant way in addressing any sense of misgiving that one has been cheated through ‘persuasive bargaining’ or through the use of lung power.
This is particularly true for the women traders from Imphal who buy the goods from the Mao traders in bulk to sell them again later in the day.
This word of caution has been sounded so that no party ends up feeling exploited.
This is important for the Mao market should be seen beyond trade and commerce.
As things stand today, a number of women traders from Yaingangpokpi side come to Imphal to sell their wares on the Imphal-Ukhrul road near Lamlong Keithel and it would be a good idea for the State Government to see if a site can be earmarked to set up a market for these traders coming from this direction.
Similarly, markets may be constructed along Tiddim road for traders from Churachandpur and other places to come and sell their wares.
The State Government may also study the feasibility of trying to woo traders from places such as Kangpokpi, Senapati, Maram to come and sell their wares at Imphal, if it is economically viable.
The idea is this. If people from Moirang, Bishnupur, Thoubal and other places can sell their produce here at Imphal, scope should be provided to the traders from the hills to come to Imphal and market their products.
Such a move will go beyond trade and commerce and can positively impact on the people to people contact.
Steps also need to be taken up to ensure that the existing Tribal Market at New Lambulane does not only serve the tribal people living in Imphal but also people of other communities.
Such a measure will prove fruitful for the State as a whole.
The true essence of observing the 1st Mao Market Day in Imphal should not be lost on anyone.
Source: The Sangai Express