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Manipuri Digital Films, Source For Bread And Butter To Many

A street hawker selling digital films. Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

IMPHAL, Mar 30: After the ban on screening of Hindi films in cinema houses of the State came into effect about a decade back, the production as well as popularity of Manipuri films made on digital format has been on the rise, providing livelihood to many people, over the last 10 years or so.

In popularizing the Manipuri digital films and in spreading their reach to a wider audience, the contribution of those who are involved in converting the films from digital format to DVD and CD format and then selling DVD/ CD cassettes through video parlors or hawking cannot be belittled.

Rahim is one such hawker who has been selling DVD and CD cassettes for a living in Khwairamband Bazar. He can sell anywhere between 40 to 60 cassettes every day.

Rahim said, ‘‘I have been selling the DVD and CD cassettes of English, Hindi, Korean and Manipuri digital films. But demand for Manipuri digital films is very high. It is as high as 60 percent. It seems popularity of Hindi films, which were in great demand at one time, has been surpassed by Manipuri digital films’’.

Rahim said that he got the DVD and CD cassettes from other cassette parlors and sold them in different parts of Khwairamband Bazar. He does not have any permanent place to set up shop, but shifts from one place to another and looks for areas where people normally frequent.

Rahim further said, ‘‘Though security personnel impose restriction on selling DVD/DC cassettes in places like footpath or parking lots, yet we can   carry on with the trade if a hawker can shell out anywhere between Rs 20 to 50. Currently a student of BA second year in Modern College, Rahim said that initially he felt shy and awkward when he came across his friends while selling DVD/CD cassettes in the market area. But now he has realized that there should be nothing to feel ashamed of about his trade. ‘‘After all, I am not stealing anybody’s properties. Moreover, there is no guarantee in Manipur that we would get Govt job after completing our studies unless you have connection and money. So, I thought, if I don’t take up some work and start earning from now onward, there would be difficulties in searching for livelihood after studies’’, Rahim rationalized. With gaining popularity of Manipuri films, there are over 30 to 40 hawkers of both genders in Khwairamband Bazar today selling DVD and CD cassettes alone. These hawkers are mostly in the age group of 18 to 35 years and the number of male hawkers is more than the female hawkers.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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