Manipur: Ukhrul’s Tuingamla Angkang to attend UN indigenous youth forum
Entrepreneur Tuingamla Angkang

Imphal: Tuingamla Angkang, a 26-year-old entrepreneur based in the Ukhrul district of Manipur, has been selected for the biennial United Nations Global Indigenous Youth Forum (UNGIYF), to be held in Rome, Italy, from October 16-20.

The biennial UNGIYF is the only indigenous-oriented high-level forum hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The forum will provide a space for dialogue between indigenous youth and FAO members, UN agencies, universities, research centres, and other stakeholders to discuss policies affecting the future of indigenous peoples’ food and knowledge systems in the context of climate and biodiversity action.

“From the UN Global Indigenous Youth Forum, I want to acquire knowledge and tools to advocate for policies and initiatives that respect, promote, and strengthen Indigenous Peoples’ food systems. I also want to leverage networking opportunities for possible future collaborations with entrepreneurs, especially those working with Indigenous Peoples,” said Angkang, the founder of the skincare brand ‘Secrets Cosmetics.’

Hailing from the hills and belonging to the Tangkhul Naga community, who consider seeds as sacred, Angkang’s skincare products are deeply rooted in her ancestral knowledge.

“We have festivals that invoke blessings for the seeds before sowing to nurture us. We preserve the best seeds through traditional practices and knowledge, which are climate-resilient and ensure a better harvest,” said Angkang, who started her skincare brand in 2019 purely out of her love for cosmetics, with zero experience in entrepreneurship.

The young entrepreneur from Lungphu village, located over 100 km from Imphal, mentioned that in her entrepreneurial journey, she had discovered that her ancestral wisdom played a crucial role in finding a solution.

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Consequently, she initiated a skincare brand called ‘Secrets Cosmetics’ which is crafted using Indigenous seeds, traditional knowledge, and farming techniques. She also highlighted that her skincare products, including perilla face oil, are pesticide-free and she firmly believes in the principle of ‘Apply only what you can eat,’ emphasising the importance of using natural, chemical-free ingredients.

Angkang also informed that while formulating her skincare products based on indigenous peoples’ seed knowledge, she worked together with seed farmers from the indigenous community to build better food systems.

“I believe that what is good for the skin should also be good for the planet,” she said.

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