Manipur Women Take to Painting to Combat Stress

by Venkatraman on Sep 27 2007 12:41 PM

Apart from opting ‘Art’ as a career, women in Manipur have taking up painting as a therapeutic way to combat stress and express their feelings.

In the past two years, the number of girl students enrolling in the art college has increased manifold.

"I am glad that the response is encouraging and girls are taking keen interest," said Y. Nabachandra, Principal of the Imphal Art College.

Girl students who have taken up this medium say they want to send a message to society about the prevailing law and order situation in the state.

"I want to depict the crime that is taking place in the society in my paintings," said Seityabati Devi, a painter.

These women feel that painting acts as an excellent therapy to counter the trauma faced by them.

In today's society a lot of crime is being committed. And women are used and abused a lot.

“I feel such shameful and harmful feelings should be tackled through peaceful means. Art is one such solution," said R.K. Shangrila Devi, another painter.

The crime rate in north-eastern society has increased due to terrorist and anti-social activities. Atrocities against women have also been on the rise.

Manipur is a part of turbulent north -eastern region. One of the seven states, called the seven sisters, it is home to more than two-dozen armed separatist groups and over 200 tribal and ethnic communities.

The state has been in an unsettled situation, l with at least a dozen guerrilla groups fighting Indian forces.

Home to 2.6 million people, mostly of Mongoloid descent, Manipur shares a border with Myanmar and distant from New Delhi, which is 2,400 km away.

For decades, Manipuris have been complaining that their state has been taken for granted by the Centre, which has resulted in the neglect of development.