Kohima: Joining the global observation of World Environment Day (WED), Angami Naga youth and student bodies along with hundreds of students planted trees and conducted a cleanliness drive at the famous Hornbill festival venue-Kisama heritage village.
Every year, from December 1-10, Kisama heritage village comes to life as the mega Hornbill festival is hosted at the iconic venue.
The festival witnesses thousands of footfalls annually from across the country and the world.
Commemorating World Environment Day, the drive was conducted by the Angami Youth Organisation (AYO) and Angami Students’ Union (ASU), the apex youth and student bodies of the Angami Naga tribe, in collaboration with the Department of School Education and Samagra Shiksha Nagaland.
“Kisama is the most visited place but it is also the most littered. People love to visit the place but leave behind their waste. So through the cleanliness drive and planting of trees, we want to send a message to the people to not only enjoy the beautiful place but also wisely dispose of trash that they bring,” AYO president Kesosul Christopher Ltu told EastMojo.
The initiative was conducted as part of the tribal youth body’s campaign for a cleaner and vibrant Kohima. Hundreds of students from government schools and a private college of the bordering villages-Kigwema and Phesama took part in the drive.
A final year student of Japfü Christian College, Chuphen, who took part in the drive said, “It is very important for us to clean this historic location because people from different parts of the world come to this time. It will leave a bad mark on the Nagas if people see that this historic place is dirty.”
While it is important to preserve and maintain the historic site of the Naga heritage village at Kisama, she said, “It is very important for us to keep this heritage site clean, as well as ourselves”.
Math teacher from Government Middle School (GMS) Phesama, Watikokba Longkumer who attended the drive with four other teachers and 35 students from the school said that humans should be brand ambassadors on earth to take care of the environment that the almighty has provided.
“It is very saddening to see all the trash inside and outside, people just littering the heritage village. Not just during the Hornbill festival, but at other times also when people visit the place, we should be mindful of clearing our trash before we leave the place,” he said.
The teacher also suggested that the heritage village should see life throughout the year with the establishment of businesses not just for revenue generation but to also ensure that the place is kept clean due to year-round activities.
Earlier, Advisor of School Education, Kekhrielhoulie Yhome graced a short ceremony. Addressing the gathering, he said climate change remains a global issue and so locals must also contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.
Nagaland, he said, has about 4 lakh students from pre-primary till higher secondary education, of which 1.5 lakh students are in government schools. Daily candy wrappers bought by students on a regular basis, he said, are estimated to add a minimum of 8 lakh plastic pieces.
In line with the World Environment Day theme “Beat plastic pollution”, he shared that the plastic waste enters the soil and the ecology which comes back to the people as a food chain and affects human health. He, therefore, urged students to be conscious of the use of plastics and contribute to a greener and healthier environment.
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He informed that Nagaland is one of the 25 biological hotspots of the world with rich biodiversity, and its flora and fauna are at threat of facing extinction. Yhome also highlighted how the environment was polluted in the 1940’s when the British brought 9,000 tons of bombs to the state and destroyed ancient forests.
As trees were planted on the day, he hoped that these trees would grow to become majestic trees for the next generations to witness.
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