N Biren Singh with veteran theatre personality Sabitri Heisnam Image: CMO Manipur

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh called upon women to take proactive role in fighting the menace of drugs and intoxicants.

He was speaking as the chief guest at the opening ceremony of a ten day Northeast Women Drama Festival and National Seminar on Theatre at Khenjonglang Theatre Complex, Keirao in Imphal on December 24.

Biren said that rampant abuse of drug and intoxicants has become a major concern in the state now. He said that thousands of men had died and many others are dying due to intoxicants in the state leaving behind their wives and children.

As such, there is need to launch a war with womenfolk taking pivotal role like in Nupilan (women’s war) to curb the menace, the chief minister observed.

The CM said that theatre plays a significant role in maintaining harmony among people and educating the masses on social evils. Observing that there is no dearth of talent in the state, Biren said that Manipur has towering figures like Ratan Thiyam in the field of theatre as well.

As it is not new in Manipur to take leading roles by womenfolk in different matters, it is very appropriate to organize a drama festival of women directors in Manipur, the chief minister opined.

Regarding law and order situation, Mr Biren said, apart from experiencing tranquility, the state had witnessed many developmental changes in the past two and a half years with the government resolving all the major issues besieging the State one after another.

As such, people should extend co-operation to the government to keep on this development momentum and sustain the peaceful situation, he added.

Biren urged the public not to occupy or construct buildings on paddy fields and agricultural lands by violating the existing act.

He expressed worry that the state would have no agricultural land after 30 or 40 years if the current trend of expansion of residential land and construction is going on.

The chief minister also assured to open a primary health sub centre at Keirao apart from looking after various other developmental needs of the area.

The 10-day festival is organized by Khengjonglang in association with Sangeet Natak Akademi and Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy. Prominent women theatre directors from different Northeast states are participating in the festival.

Eminent women theatre personalities like Kirti Jain, Maya Krishna Rao and Sabitri Heisnam were honoured at the function. The dignitaries also released a souvenir published to commemorate the event.

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