Better State - Eastern Mirror
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Better state

By EMN Updated: Mar 28, 2024 12:38 am

Nagaland, the Land of festivals, is also the land where corner walls of buildings accessible by the public are covered with a favorite decorative paint, betel nut [pan/tamul] spit. And office building compounds, the compounds of educational institutes [Schools and Colleges], Hospitals, roadsides and virtually everywhere and anywhere a person can tread on including forested areas is decorated with non-biodegradable plastic wastes and trash.

 I paid Zion Hospital and Research Center a visit the other day and as I sat on one of the concrete park benches, I looked around and saw a boy who was with some of his friends; he emptied a packet of gutkha in his mouth and dropped the empty plastic cover on the ground right at his feet. I looked around to see if there were any trash cans/dust bins around and sure enough, there was one near me. Since he was standing at a distance from the trash can near me, I thought that he didn’t bother to walk over and make use of it. But, on closer observation, I noticed that there was more than just one trash can in the compound and there was one right next to him too. So, if he was aware that trash cans were available, why did he not make use of one? He was surely not illiterate; I’m sure that he does know the reason why these trash cans are provided and the purpose they serve. So, why was it too hard for him to make use of one?

 I read the newspapers a few days later and I came across a picture which showed the ugly aftermath of a public gathering at City tower, Dimapur. With empty plastic bottles of mineral water and paper strewn all across the ground, it was a gruesome sight. And it dawned on me that the majority of us are all habitual litterers. What do most of us do when we empty a packet of chips, sweets, etc. or when we empty a plastic bottle of water/soda (Coca Cola, Pepsi, etc.)? We drop it on the ground, regardless of where we are or, we hurl it out the window of a moving vehicle without thinking who, if anyone would clean it up after us. We are all not physically blind but we are surely psychologically blind enough to not notice and make use of dust bins/trash cans which are provided. Most of us are well educated and we have a number of degree certificates to prove of our academic accomplishments. But, if we don’t have civic sense, then I don’t think that we can be regarded as truly educated.

 Every morning that I wake up and walk out on the streets, I see all sorts of trash lying around on the roadside and it saddens me to know that nobody is doing anything to clean it up. It saddens me even more to know that since we have become so accustomed to the sight of trash lying all around, we have started to regard it as part of the environment and except for a very few people, most of us end up contributing to spreading the trash rather than in reducing it. Whenever I see trash lying around on the roadside, I am motivated to clean it up. But, at the very same time, I am filled with frustration because of the fact that the very stretch of roadside that I end up cleaning will be filled up again with trash in no time because somebody is bound to litter on the very stretch that I cleaned.

 All of us come across sign boards and banners everyday requesting us to make cleanliness a habit and to have civic sense. But, except for a handful of people, most of us rarely put it to practice. We cannot reduce or replace the use of plastic bags/plastic products and other trash producing substances but what we can do, is get rid of them responsibly after their use.

 Everything that occurs in nature is organic and therefore returns back to nature because bacteria can feed on them. But, since plastic is a synthetic man-made material, bacteria can’t feed on them and therefore the plastic object which hit the ground in second’s notice when you drop it, unless someone gets rid of it, is going to remain there for ages, even long after you are dead and gone. So, the next time you empty a packet of sweets or anything else which comes in a plastic casing, no matter where it is you stand, or even if you are riding in an automobile, before you dispose of it, think of the long term affect it is going to have on the environment and act responsibly. If it is none of your business to clean up the place you litter on, don’t you make it your business to litter up that place in the first place. And those who collect their daily or weekly garbage and dump it in a river and on inconspicuous sites (near Dimapur Christian Fellowship entryway, opposite of Iwu Shi garden to name a few) should stop reproducing. Monsoon season is on its way and soon some colonies will not only get showers of blessing but also be knee deep or waist deep in water because of our own actions of non segregation of waste and dumping of waste in our drainage systems. Instead of having the attitude of thinking “everybody is doing it, why should I be any different?”, why not have the attitude of thinking, “I will not be like everyone else and I will make a difference”. In short, quit this habit of littering everywhere you go. We cannot change the world but we can change the world in us.

We must be aware that we cannot rely solely on the Municipality to clean up after us. If we mean to act as irresponsible people and litter everywhere, every single time, we cannot rely only on specific dates of social work or sanitation days to clean up the streets. All of us have to act responsibly and contribute to a cleaner community. We cannot change the world but we can leave it in a better state than it was in. Make everyday a social work/sanitation day by cleaning up after ourselves by making use of trash cans every single time. Make Nagaland truly Clean and Green.

Avilie Nagi

Darogapathar Village

By EMN Updated: Mar 28, 2024 12:38:44 am
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