Saron Colony, Wokha
While I wish to express my humble opinion on varied matters, herein, I just wish to touch upon the issue of cleanliness as it irks me the most and what better and realistic assessment of the state of affairs in Nagaland than the most recent ‘Swachh Survekshan- 2018’ ranking of cities. The objective of the survey was to encourage large scale citizen participation and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in. Additionally, to foster a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities towards creating cleaner cities. In the 2017 cleanest city rankings, our cities of Kohima and Dimapur were in the 208th and 277th spot respectively, out of the 434 cities. Came 2018, It was appalling to learn that our state ranked Third last in the country and Second dirtiest among the North East States. Mokokchung, which in Nagaland is supposedly the cleanest city, was in the 57th spot among the surveyed list of 201 Cities. The result, I believe, was widely read on 25th June and subsequent days in news daily and presumably long forgotten too. Jharkhand, the state that was ranked last in the 2015 survey emerged to take the cleanest State honours in 2018. This probably is one progressive change in case our able administration as well as We the general public have taken cognizance of. While a fast track change may not be the immediate goal, the way Jharkhand took off post 2015 result, we could at least begin the spadework which over a period of time would be substantial.
Unlike certain departments that refuse to give in, the authorities in Mokokchung in spite of being the cleanest city within the state of Nagaland, felt the urgency to convene a meeting in order to scan grey areas that could have led to the plunge and accordingly address them. In Mokokchung such initiatives are not unheard of, and the necessity felt only reflects glimpses of progress. If a particular village, town, or city is clean, it is because the residents have ensured its upkeep. Accordingly, we Nagas are at liberty to choose what we want to see of Nagaland in times to come.
But the dilemma lies in, Who is going to get our cities/towns cleaned for us? Shall we start off with a ‘Hoi Jabo’ attitude or should we start by challenging the status quo ie, our complacency. We have got to get at it or it will cause us to stagnate further. Anything that is accepted as ‘The only way’ remains immune to change. Not to accuse the government alone of apathy, either we the residents wake up or get buried deeper in filth. I am convinced that the result of ‘Swachh Survekshan -2018’ did cause a share of embarrassment to those individuals studying, residing or working away from home! But the point is whether viable lesson have been driven home? Was there ever a need felt by them to impart valued tips based on their exposure and privy to changes happening beyond the confines of our home, within which, we are at ease! Literacy is not necessarily education based or a representation of census based figures and percentages. From a wholesome view point, it is how people gauge us/our homeland which actually shows how deep awareness has permeated into our lives. As a matter of fact, the results declared by ‘Swachh Survekshan’ year after year, and our continued laidback approach reflects how basic knowledge continues to elude us. Until learning is commensurate with social responsibility things will remain hither and thither. Let us live upto being the status of being a 90% literate state and start the movement which benefits the society and generations to come.