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Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, Jan 30: Inaugurating the first tribal cultural exchange programme at the auditorium of Tribal Research Institution at Chingmeirong here today, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh has assured that additional fund would be earmarked in the budget for the promotion of cultural identity of various ethnic groups living in Manipur.

The day-long first tribal cultural exchange programme was organised by the All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur (ATSUM).

The theme of the cultural exchange programme was 'Our culture, our identity'.

Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh was the chief guest of the inaugural function which was also attended by Chairman of Hill Areas Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly Thangminlien Kipgen, MP of Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency Mani Charenamei and senior Cabinet Ministers among other leaders of various tribal voluntary organisations.

Various cultural troupes like Poumai cultural troupe and Maram cultural troupe from Senapati district, Hmar Cultural troupe from Churachandpur district, NSUC cultural troupe from Chandel district, Kuki cultural troupe from Sadar Hills, Tangkhul cultural troupe from Ukhrul district, Kom cultural troupe, Paite cultural troupe and Zeliangrong cultural troupe presented dances and songs at the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh appreciated the efforts being made by various sub-tribes in every districts of Manipur to protect their own cultural identity and observed that a society which has no culture of its own is a meaningless society.

As culture is an important element that can promote better relationship among various groups of people living in Manipur, organising of such cultural exchange programmes should be encouraged, the Chief Minister said, while assuring that additional fund would be earmarked in the budget for the promotion and development of the cultural identity of various ethnic groups living in the State.

Stating that the cultural exchange programme being organised by ATSUM in addition to taking up various issues related to public welfare is encouraging, the Chief Minister further assured that the Government would look into the other unfulfilled demands of the student body.

He also donated a sum of Rs 1 lakh to the organiser towards ensuring successful organisation of the programme.

Speaking of developmental works, the Chief Minister informed the gathering that the Government has allocated necessary fund for the development of hill districts in the State.

He also sought the co-operation of the people in monitoring the quality of the developmental works being executed by the Government.

Tribal Development Minister DD Thaisii, who also spoke at the occasion, noted that since Manipur consists of hill and valley, the mutual co-operation and support of the people living in both the hills and the valley area is essential for development and welfare of all the communities in the State.

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