Kohima: Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, came under one stage to build a plastic-free society and promote a clean election under a 20-night-long music concert that concluded on Saturday.
The concert was held with the theme, ‘Say No to Plastics, Yes to Clean Elections’.
With the initial plan to create an environmental-friendly campaign in the city, the idea of ‘Say No to Plastics’ was proposed by the Kohima Municipal Council (KMC). However, the countdown to Parliamentary election and the state by-election began and therefore necessitated the need to call for a clean election which eventually resulted in giving one platform for both the environmental and political cause.
Speaking with EastMojo, KMC administrator Kovi Meyase said: “Initially, we wanted it to be an exclusively plastic awareness campaign, however the pleasant coincidence was that election was just knocking at our door. The district election officer, the DC, had wanted to come into the campaign trail so that’s how it came about.”
When asked how far the fortnight-long campaign had positively impacted society, he said: “We saw very positive signs coming out from various corners, all sections of society. In fact, after we started going on this campaign, there were already women groups in particular who had wanted to come to us and get training on paper bag making and cloth bag making. In between, we had also gone to a village, Khonoma village, we taught them, rather trained them on paper bag making and cloth bag making. We are also getting invitations from the educational institutions”.
“The feedback that we are getting are extremely positive. It’s a beginning, it’s a movement that has to continue and we hope to see results slowly but effectively,” he added.
The success of the campaign has necessitated the need for more awareness. In this regard, Meyase said, “If things work well and weather permits, we will have an exclusive concern campaign in the local ground for all the educational institutions in Kohima.”
Although Meyase stated that there is a balance in both concerns — eradicating plastics and practising a clean election. He said: “Both are equally important. But to save our generation, to save our future, to save our planet and our environment, I think to me on a scale of 10, I’d give seven to plastic, the remaining three to clean elections.”
Concerning the improvements that Kohima has seen ever since being tagged as the second most unlivable city in the country, Meyase said “It was a wake-up call being tagged as the second most unliveable city, and very painful also. But if you look at the social pillars, there are 14 social pillars, out of which solid waste management is just one part of it. But that does not deride us of our responsibility.”
He added: “It gives us a wake-up call in the sense that we have to be improving service… On the other hand I think we must also equally emphasize on the other 14 social pillars. So as far as the municipality is concerned, we are pleased to have improved by some 15-16 slots but I think we deserve to be higher, we will keep on trying to improve and bring the level of liveability in our city a lot better than what we are now.”