Meghalaya- Lack of Civic Sense among Shillongites
TNT- The Northeast Today
In the article captioned “HC moots suo motu PIL on city cleanliness,” which appeared in a leading English daily, The Shillong Times newspaper’s front page last month, it was a very disheartening but also interesting enough that it captured my attention that the High Court had to step in and take into consideration and notice the filth, trash, garbage and what not that has engulfed the state, particularly the capital city of Shillong. Though primarily the court has pointed its fingers towards the government (the KHADC) or state government responsible for looking into the matter which yes! has failed in all aspects but the main issue here is the total lack of civic sense by all the inhabitants (whether literate or illiterate– big and small) which includes the hawkers and shopkeepers who by and large are the main players.
As a pedestrian, one is often menaced by disgusting incidences like passengers spitting out of moving buses and vehicles that barely misses those walking along the streets; garbage accumulated in and around certain places that are not only a breeding ground for various diseases but also for stray dogs that pose a menace to people.
Meghalaya who, with a large population of Khasis are known to be strict about their adherence to cleanliness is not seen as being in tandem with what we see with our own eyes where garbage is strewn all over the city. We gleam with pride when it comes to Mawlynnong but has it ever occurred to us at any point of time to actually change our ‘give a damn attitude’ and emulate what a small village has shown to the world what cooperative efforts combined with a clear mind on civic sense can really change or do we have to wait till the time the courts come up with very harsh and specific directions.
We need to change our whole mindset for a better future else we will be riddled with drains clogged with rubbish which we are generating every minute of the day and the Shillong that we know, the Scotland of the East will fade into utter oblivion.
Recently, the MUDA/SMB started supplying garbage bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable use to some localities in and around Shillong with every hope that the initiative would work and help contain the garbage menace which has plagued the streets. However, this needs a cooperative effort at every front by the public and if we all start thinking about how to keep our city clean and green, it is imperative for every citizen to get involved.
Nazarene F. Jyrwa
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