The COVID-19 creativity hub at Chizami under Phek district

Kohima: The community quarantine centre at Chizami village, under Phek district, is a sight for sore eyes. Residents of the village along with the Chizami COVID-19 task force built eco-friendly huts and added a dash of creativity. The centre is also a designated creativity hub where inmates are encouraged to write stories, poems, sketch and paint.

The COVID-19 Creativity hub, located at Chizami is around 81 km away from Kohima town and took 2 days to complete.

Gifts being prepared for returnees

Wetshete Thopi, convenor of COVID-19 Task Force told EastMojo that the members discussed about the fear of COVID-19 in the minds of people and resolved to create positivity. “The idea that once they come to the village, we want them to make good use of their stay in the quarantine facility,” he said.

The community wanted to reduce the pain and suffering of the returnees. They realised that many had lost their jobs due to the lockdown; add to that the 14-28 day quarantine. This discussion lead to the creation of the COVID-19 creativity hub. The hub gives opportunity to returnees to utilise their time creatively and positively.

The North East Network (NEN), an NGO, provided them with stationery for writing stories, poems, sketching and painting.

A photo of villagers seen building bamboo huts for returnees

The first batch of six people reached the village on June 4 and completed their quarantine at the creativity hub. Currently, it houses four returnees, with four more persons expected to join on Monday.

An pebble art work done by a returnee at the COVID-19 creativity hub

Colo Mero, a resident of the village, says, “it is important to educate the people to remove the fear and stigma around COVID-19. We don’t want returnees to be discriminated. It is also equally important to encourage and inspire them.”

Bamboo huts built for the returnees were personalized, with each hut having access to a small compound, kitchen pantry, adequate power supply and a separate toilet as well. Food for returnees are served in leaves, reducing the use of plastic.

An artwork of a returnee

The art and other creations by returnees will be published by the NEN after the fight against COVID-19 is won.

In most localities and villages in Nagaland, after the 14 days institutional quarantine, returnees are required to undergo community quarantine centres as prescribed by the local authorities.

The committee overseeing the management of the quarantine centre at COVID-19 creativity hub Chizami has members from the village council, women organization, village development board, students union, and the village elders or Gaon Buras.

“The community has been very supportive of the initiative, and the response has been overwhelming. To contain COVID-19, we proactively maintaining personal hygiene and sanitation. Even the senior citizens, are now adapting to the use of masks,” says Thopi

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