Three Manipuri mothers were felicitated here on Thursday for bearing many children, in an attempt to encourage Meitei women to have more children to increase the tribe’s population as a protection against influx of “outsiders”.
The Meitei people are the majority ethnic group of Manipur.
Akutpi Salam of Andro in Imphal eEst district, with 12 children, got the first prize: A certificate, a shawl and cash.
The second prize went to Sorojini Huidrom of Huidrom Leikai in Imphal West district. She gave birth to nine children.
Pakpi Waikhom with seven children was selected for the third prize. At 37, she is the youngest mother to get the prize.
The function was organised on the occasion of the third anniversary of Indigenous People’ Association of Kangleipak (IPAK).
Since its inception, IPAK has been encouraging the indigenous women to give birth to more children.
IPAK President M.B. Meitei said: “The population of the Meiteis is about eight lakh. It is about 10 lakh if Manipuri Muslims are taken into account.”
“There is a need to increase the population if we have to withstand the impact of the influx.”
The growing fear of the indigenous peoples in the northeast states is the influx of outsiders who have overwhelmed the locals. Activists point out that the Tripuris had already become strangers in their home state.