Church leaders for effective implementation of NLTP Act
Dimapur, Dec. 16 (EMN): Secretary of the Nagaland Baptist Churches Council (NBCC) and chairman of Joint Christian Forum Nagaland (JCFN), Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho, has moot the need for churches to work together with experts, civil societies and government to scientifically and effectively implement the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act, 1989.
Keyho stated this in his keynote address at the consultative meeting-cum-pre Christmas programme jointly organised by Christian Forum Dimapur (CFD) and Joint Christian Forum Nagaland (JCFN) on December 15 at Bethesda Higher Secondary School at Walford Colony, Dimapur, on the theme ‘Heal Nagaland.’ He urged the churches to collaborate with various stakeholders to develop practical strategies in order to implement the Act effectively, an update from CFD stated.
Keyho also admitted that the government and the church have failed to act upon the Act systematically and effectively. Stating that the church cannot hold on to the Act without doing anything systematically, he urged the church to take criticism positively and constructively. He further stated that a time has come for all especially the churches, government, civil society organisations to work together and translate the dream of the people to a reality.
Former deputy commissioner of Dimapur Moangwati Aier stated that Nagaland is not the only state in India under liquor prohibition. He mentioned that states like Kerala, Gujarat, Manipur, Mizoram and Bihar are also under prohibition. He stated that those states are performing better because they have stringent measures and laws where defaulters are severely punished.
According to Aier alcoholism is another serious social evil. He not only explained the challenges and issues but also presented strategies to combat the issue effectively.
Director of CIHSR, Dr. Sedevi Angami presented alcohol hazards and its effects on individuals and the society. He has warned of future consequences on children and youth if the prohibition is lifted. He also mentioned various strategies to help the churches and civil society to fight the issue effectively.
In order to effectively implement the Act, Sedevi stated that a society needs to have good governance, dynamic leadership at the local and state level. He also suggested the churches to have proper curriculum for spiritual and social activities. He has further advocated ‘non-discriminatory’ approach in teaching the children and youth in order to gradually overcome the issue of tribalism.
Rev. James Ngullie briefed the initiatives, activities and various programmes conducted by various churches in response to the NLTP Act, while Ps Yanbemo Lotha highlighted the various youth related issues, challenges and how to respond positively to resolve the issues by various churches in the state. While mentioning that around 21.5% youths are unemployed in the state, Yanbemo urged the church to be an agent and facilitator in helping them find meaningful life. He further stated that churches in Nagaland are focusing on outside mission rather than helping the unemployed youth in the state.
CFD chairman Rev. Moses Murry spoke on the churches’ response to the political situation of the state. He also mentioned that the unique history of the Nagas need to be respected and solution should not bring any further violent conflicts among the people of God. He also spoke about the proposed action plan.
The report also stated that the gathering has decided to pray for unity and reconciliation among all the political groups in order to work for lasting peace and sustainable development.
Short speeches were delivered by Naga Women Hoho represented by Elis Z Swu, Dimapur Naga Students’ Union represented by Nupato K Chishi and Nagaland NGO Forum represented by Dr. Hesheto.
A Christmas message was delivered by Rev. Fr. Chacko Karinthayil, while CFD advisor Rev. Dr. P Dozo pronounced an invocation and Ps. Lanu Akum said the benediction.
The consultative meeting cum pre-Christmas programme was organised with an objective to discuss on various issues particularly church response to NLTP Act of 1989, church response to unemployment and youth issues in Nagaland, church response to present political situation in Nagaland.