Manipur's herbal soap
Manipur CM Nongthombam Biren Singh visits exhibition on food processing-cum-technology. Image credit – Northeast Now

Manipur’s first patented handmade soap drew the attention of state chief minister N Biren Singh and other visitors at the consultative meeting-cum-exhibition on food processing-cum-technology.

Ma-Ngal, a medicated handmade soap, manufactured by a firm led by 65-year-old Jina Khumujam in Imphal, is the first herbal soap in Manipur that has received the patent.

The Manipur CM visited the exhibition organized under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Connect North East in Imphal on Friday.

The small firm with 7 workers, led by Khumujam of Khurai in Manipur’s Imphal East district, has been producing the herbal soap for the last seven years and it received patent rights last year.

Khumujam’s team manufactures soaps of various kinds under the brand name of Mangal by using extracts of locally available fruits and herbs.

The fruits and herbs used in the soap include Heibi (Meyna laxiflora Robyns), Lemon, Nongleishang (Xylosma), Sangbrei (Aloe-vera), Neem, Heiribop (Citrus latipes), Cucumber, Turmeric, Kekru, Koridak, orange and so on.

Speaking to reporters, Khumujam said so far they’ve manufactured 30,000 to 40,000 handmade herbal soaps of nine different varieties.

“One advantage of using Ma-ngal soap is it helps to protect skin and impart natural goodness as we’re using locally available herbs and fruits,” said a companion of Khumujam.

Currently, the firm supplies handmade bathroom soaps for popular star hotels in Imphal besides exports to other Indian states and abroad through e-marketing.

Some other value-added items produced with the intervention of the CSIR technologies were also displayed during the exhibition at CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST), Branch Laboratory complex in Imphal.

Manipur chief minister N Biren was accompanied by Lok Sabha MP RK Ranjan, the director-general of CSIR and secretary, department of science and industrial research, Shekhar C Mande and scientist-in-charge, NEIST Branch Laboratory, H Birkumar Singh during his visit to the exhibition.

Many delegates from outside the state were present in the consultative meeting.

Sobhapati Samom

Sobhapati Samom is Northeast Now Correspondent in Imphal. He can be reached at: ssamom@gmail.com