A district in Assam has opened up its first all women’s market and named it after acclaimed Jnanpith awardee author Mamoni Raisom Goswami. The market has been opened in the north-east state’s Cachar district near the Indo-Bangladesh border. Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli inaugurated the marketshed which is being called the ‘Mamoni Bazar’. The market has been established at the Dinnathpur Bagicha in the district.
The market will only cater to women sellers and although this is not the first time the state has got all-women market, it is a first in the Barak Valley. Such markets have previously taken off in Dibrugarh and Jorhat among other places.
The state’s first all-women market was opened two years back in Namrup district and was modelled after a similar one in Manipur called the ‘Ima Keithel’, the Hindustan Times reported.
Why was the market named after Mamoni Raisom Goswami? Jalli says that after she was posted in Assam she read the ‘Moth eaten Howdah of the Tusker’ by Goswami and thus her introduction with the state was through the book. This inspired her to name the market after the author.
“Building an all-women market was undoubtedly an enthusiastic step towards women empowerment and we are making such kinds of markets in other parts of the district as well. The development of a woman can aid the development of the entire family, which in turn will help develop our district,” she was quoted as saying.
These women at the markets are being provided training under Self-help groups to grow agricultural products along with making products using local craft that can be sold in these markets.
Imphal’s Ema Keithel or Ema Market or Mothers’ market is believed to be Asia’s largest all-women market solely run and managed by women. It is a workplace for more than 5,000 women vendors. Among them, 4,000 have regular license to work and interestingly, these license passes down the generation. It is to be noted that men are not allowed to trade or do business in Emar market but yes, they can be used in labour work. Also, one particular shop in this market can sell only one variety of items as this prevents encroachment into others businesses.