TODAY -

Lack of support and martket dooms future of this one-legged craftsman and his family
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 04 2019: Providing best of the education to children and marrying them at the right age are every parent's dream.

With one leg amputated below knee and his wife's health unsound, this 60 years old father is doing everything in his capacity for his children.

This unemployed differently abled father has one of his sons pursuing further studies in Bangalore.

Kshetrimayum Ibopishak of Kakching Khunou Awang Kshetri Leikai was not always like this.

He lost his left leg below knee after an illness at the age of 50 .



Kshetrimayum Ibopishak of Kakching Khunou Awang Kshetri Leikai
Kshetrimayum Ibopishak of Kakching Khunou Awang Kshetri Leikai


After the marriage of his eldest daughther, he noticed some swelling on his left toe and was advised by the doctors at Shija Hospital to amputate the infected toe, he said.

After he amputated the left toe, the medical Condition continued and he had his left leg amputated below knee at CMC Hospital, Koirengei, he said speaking to this reporter.

He is married to Kshetrimayum Ongbi Memcha Devi and has three daughters and two sons.

All his daughters are married.

One of his sons is employed at a pharmacy/chemist shop in Porompat, he said.

He make ends meet of the family making Tunggol (fish basket), Polang, Lubak, Phak (mat), kharai, Thumok etc.

He learned the art of making these bamboo products from elders in the locality after he lost his leg, Ibopishak said.

He makes a mere Rs 700/Rs 600 a month on an average.

At times he earns Rs 1,000 a month, he said.

He buys bamboo from the locality and makes 14/15 Tunggol out of one bamboo on an average, he said.

He sells Tunggol at Rs 100, Polang at Rs 150/ Rs 200, Chakoop at Rs 60/ Rs 70, Ngalubak at Rs 50 to 80 and Rs 250/ Rs 300 depending on the to the size, he said.

Managing his family expenditures with just Rs 600 a month is a difficult job and he acknowledged this.

"Masi emung mak puba ngamdragasu esagi khorsha-porsha di konnei, emunggi mateng khara-kharadi paangba ngammi" (Athough this - his meagre earnings - cannot manage/run family, this is enough as pocket money and is helping with some of the family expenditures), he said.

"I used to do farm works when I had my other leg.

Now, I cannot engage myself in farm works anymore, I have to manage and engage in whatever I can to support my family," Ibopishak said.

With lack of proper market and channel to sell his products, Ibopishak is not able to source reasonable income from his work.

With right channel and proper market his craft- bamboo products can be sold at the right price in bulk.

Bamboo crafts is gaining popularity and yet many unknown craftsmen like Ibopishak are finding it hard to sell their products due to lack of exposure and proper markets.

Acknowledging such differently abled craftsmen in far flung places and encouraging them with recognition and assistance will go a long way in developing the craft and supporting these artisans.


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