Kohima, September 11: Nagaland Minister for Public Health Engineering, Jacob Zhomomi on Wednesday launched the 6-week long ‘Swachhta Hi Sewa’ (cleanliness is service) movement on the theme “Plastic Waste Shramdaan”.
Addressing the gathering during the launching ceremony held at Kohima Deputy Commissioner’s office conference hall here, Zhimomi said the cleanliness needs to a mass public movement in order to attain a clean environment leading to a healthy and hygienic society.
He called upon every individual to come together and work collectively towards a cleaner Nagaland.
He said that development of a state is no only about having buildings and roads, but cleanliness and hygiene shows the developmental aspects.
Pointing that Nagaland government has declared the rural areas of the state as Open Defecation Free (ODF) in October 2, 2018 much ahead of the national declaration, he expressed hope that the Urban Development department would initiate in creating better awareness on the harmful effects of open defecation.
He also appealed that steps should be taken to declare the state ODF at the earliest.
The Minister assured of all possible support in the six week long cleanliness and sanitation campaign.
To this, Joint Secretary of Urban Development, Elizabeth Ngully announced that the department is working towards achieving Urban Nagaland ODF before October 2 in collaboration with all the Urban Local Bodies of the State.
The Swachhta Hi Sewa (SHS) campaign aims at fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi’s dream for a clean India by mobilising the masses and reinforcing “Jan Andolan” or a movement for sanitation, said Thangi Mannen, a retired bureaucrat turn cleanliness campaigner.
Delivering the keynote address in the programme, she said, that taking cognizance of the menace of single use plastics, the theme of this year’s SHS is on plastic waste management, she said.
SHS 2019 will run from today till October 27, wherein large scale awareness and mass mobilisation of plastic waste collection will be undertaken, she said.
During this period, she said all States/UTs will organise large scale citizen engagement activities for awareness generation and community mobilization through voluntary service, she said, adding that clean and green drives, cleanliness pledges and rallies etc., all aimed at plastic waste collection and disposal in three phases.
She informed that in the first phase till October 1, it will be the preparatory and Awareness Generation period, while in Phase II on October 2, which is also the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi), will be marked with mass social voluntary work of plastic waste collection.
In Phase-III, from October 3 to 27, will be marked with collection, segregation, transportation for recycling and disposal leading to a plastic free Diwali, she said.
There will a daily update of the progress of the SHS from all the districts, which will uploaded in the government/ministry portal sbm.gov.in/shs2019.
The activities will require the participation of all government departments/organisations in both the state and district levels, urban and rural areas, NGOs, individuals, business communities, religious institutions, schools and colleges, she said.
Also stating that one of the instructions in marking the SHS 2019 is that all states are to declare a ban on single use plastics, she said fortunately for Nagaland, the state government had on June 17 this year issued a notification banning all single use plastics in the state.
The ban will be effective from September 18, ahead of the October 2 deadline as envisaged and directed by Central Government, she said.
Mannen further went on to state that the SHS program is not confined to this period but it is only the beginning of the process to achieve India’s commitment to eliminate all single use plastics in the country by 2022 as announced by the Prime Minister last year, on World Environment Day.
Maintaining that there must be a convergence between the government and the public to achieve this goal of clean and green Nagaland, she said the principle of ‘My Waste, My Responsibility’ must be practiced by all.
Director of School Education, Wonthungo Tsopoe tendered the vote of thanks. (Page News Service)