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    • Ongoing Project

A brief summary on the partner’s previous engagement with ActionAid (NFs):

ActionAid’s association with PRDA started in 2011, when ActionAid Guwahati Regional Office, organized a regional workshop on ‘Agrarian Crisis in North East India’. This was followed by a series of smaller consultations with a group of organizations in Manipur. As an outcome of the consultations, PRDA has become one of the implementing partners (5 partners in Manipur and 5 in Assam) of DFID supported ActionAid’s directly implemented project entitled ‘Regional Initiative towards ensuring Entitlements of Marginalized Communities and Promoting Sustainable Farm Based Livelihoods’. The project was implemented during May 2012 to December 2013. During the period, PRDA has also started becoming part of larger networks on the issues pertaining to natural resources in Manipur in which AA was also associated with. Thus PRDA also become non-funded partner in our engagement through other network on issues of Loktak dwellers.

Socio-economic profile of the geography: Manipur, the state where the LRP is located 

Manipur, literally meaning “jewelled land”, is nestled deep within a lush green corner in the mountains of North East India and shares an extensive international boundary on its east with Myanmar. Topographically, it comprises of an oval shaped valley, the remains of an ancient glacial lake, surrounded by mountains. It is rich in biodiversity and treasures numerous species of flora and fauna including some extremely rare and endangered varieties.  It has a unique culture which emerged in this border land that connects the Sinic and Indian civilizations and its repository of rich art and folk traditions are evident even today.

The Manipur valley, originally a large wetland fed by numerous rivers from the encircling hills, is drained by the Manipur River (also known as Imphal River) to the south of the valley. According to the oral history of the Meitei people, over a period of time the valley partially dried itself out and was settled permanently by some of the peoples of the surrounding hills. Several thousand years ago, settlers then proceeded to harness the waters of the valley, channeling the major rivers into more permanent courses by the construction of massive earthwork dikes. Some lands were reclaimed as permanent dry land for agriculture and habitation, some were left open to seasonal flooding so as to facilitate wet rice agriculture, and some areas retained as pats (pat means natural water bodies in Meitei language). The entire Manipur valley is a wetland system because of the number of lakes and marshy areas it contains. These pats or reservoirs of water have the capacity to absorb the annual monsoon floods and conserve water through the dry months. The greatest of such reservoir is the Loktak-pat, located in the districts of Bisehnpur, Imphal West and Thoubal of Imphal to the south of the valley, to which all the rivers in the Manipur drains in. Regretfully, this is now almost the only such reservoir left, the rest having fallen prey to land reclamation for unplanned urban expansion, or fallen into neglect by the disintegration or deliberate disconnection of the feeder channels that replenished them.

Manipur has an ancient history and records of its presence as an independent kingdom go back to 33 A.D. The Royal chronicles called the ‘Cheitharol Kumbaba’, record events stretching from 33 AD to 1890 AD. The Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891 eventually brought it under British control as a protectorate. This ended the independent status of the kingdom of Manipur.

During the Second World War, Manipur was the frontline in the Eastern Front and the scene of many fierce battles between the Japanese and the Allied forces. The war took a decisive turn as the Allied Forces tenuously held on and defeated the Japanese in the battles here. The Japanese forces were pushed back before they could enter Imphal, and this proved to be one of the turning points of the War.

After the War, Manipur regained its independent status and the Manipur Constitution Act, 1947, proposed a democratic form of government with an elected legislature and the Maharaja as the Executive Head. This was short lived and a series of events unfolded leading to its integration to the Indian Union. In 1949, Maharaja Bodhchandra was summoned to Shillong, capital of the then Indian province of Assam and is said to have signed the Merger Agreement which led to the legislative assembly being dissolved and the integration of the country with the Republic of India in October 15, 1949. Manipur became a full-fledged state of the Indian Union in 1972.


Manipur has a total area of 22327 square kilometres. The State of Manipur, with its capital at Imphal, shares an international boundary of about 352 kilometres with Myanmar in the south and east. It is bound by the states of Nagaland in the north, Assam in the west and Mizoram in the south. The state is connected with rest of India through National High Way 39 and 53, which passes through Nagaland and Assam.

The state is broadly divided into two regions, viz. the hills and the valley. The valley lies in the central part of the State, surround by the hills. The state is administratively organized into 9 districts. The hill region comprises of five districts and the valley consists of four districts. The hill districts occupy about 90 percent (20089 sq km) of the total area and the valley only about one-tenth (2238 sq km) of the total area of the State.