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Title: From Golden Pagodas to Golden Triangle: Livelihood and Survival Strategies of the Weaving Bamar Community in Churachandpur District, Manipur
Authors: Thangsing, D.C.Lallian
Keywords: MALSSS-2015
Barbora, Sanjay
Weaving Bamar Community- Manipur
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: TISS Guwahati Campus
Abstract: People born in Myanmar have migrated all across the world and primarily international migration flows from Myanmar are to other Asian countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan and India. Myanmar is therefore a key country in addressing Asia’s regional migration challenges. There is a large floating population of Burmese migrants in Northeast India. They come in search of better economic opportunities and employment. Hence, except from the crossing of an international boundary, their migration resembles that of seasonal migrant workers within India. This makes it difficult to categorize who is a political refugee and who is a migrant. Among the diverse Burmese migrating from Myanmar, most Bamar settle temporarily in Mizoram and Manipur, waiting to grab the opportunity to reach Delhi and apply for refugee status at the UNHCR, which is considered arduous and expensive journey, yet ironically since 2007 no new applicants have been accepted into the programmed from then on, many manage to sneak through to nearby Churachandpur town and villages ,which is one of the most conflict torn areas in India toppled with insurgency, bandhs and strikes. The few Burmese remaining, perhaps hundreds work in the weaving industry. Having braved the risk to flee repression and economic stagnancy, the Burmese staying in Churachandpur (Manipur) live a miserable life and consequently take up almost any job offered to them. Many Burmese men work on daily wages as underpaid laborers but a major sections of men and women engaged in handloom weaving due to their nimble fingers and highly attached tradition on weaving with negligible social security and social dialogue .They are the victims of double marginalization and are often cheated and not paid at all in the end by their employers.
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