This blog is dedicated to the People Led Development (PLD) approach in development sector. The blog reflects PLD stories and experiences from the fields of North East (NE) India, a repository of several ethnic groups with unique tradition and culture.
PLD is the integral component of a project titled Facilitating Agriculture Regeneration (FARM) in North East India. FARM is being implemented by partners in 7 states of NE India except Sikkim and supported by Caritas India.
Thursday, 1 October 2015
COMMUNITY ACTION FOR A CLEAN VILLAGE
As they say Cleanliness is next Godliness, Domkohsam village
in the West Khasi hills of Meghalaya stands as an excellent example of
cleanliness. Khasis from Meghalaya are known for their cleanliness, be it their
homes or their surroundings. “We love
cleanliness and try to teach our children to be clean and tidy always”, said
Ms. Barbara Lyngdoh, Associate Coordinator of Farmer Club. But with time things
don’t always change for good. The community in Domkohsam village seemed to have
lost touch with what they used to be known for. The village wore a shabby look
with loads of filth trashed around. People would not just
mind throwing waste materials as they wanted to.
But Domkohsam as any other village sensible village had a few good men as well who thought otherwise. Since quite a few years we have been observing people dumping wastes
wherever they want to. We could not simply sit back & watch our own people
converting the village into garbage”, said Francis Marngar, Sardar (village
heaman) of Domsohkam. Nongstoin Social Service Society (NSSS), a FARM NE partner
has been working in Domkohsam village since 2013. Team NSSS has been motivating
the people of Domkohsam from time to time in various meaningful ways. “When the village elders shared the issue of
wrong practice of dumping garbage, we told them two basic things; firstly they
have to make their own people aware on cleanliness and secondly they can
construct a common garbage for all in the village”, said Brolius D Marbaniang,
Project Coordinator, FARM NE.
The farmers club of Domkohsam got
active and started mobilizing people for the cause. “We started speaking to men and women in the village even in person to
make them aware of the value of cleanliness”, said Jenes Kharpan, Chief
Coordinator of Farmers Club. The farmers club in their monthly meeting during April
2015 discussed the issue in length with the community of Domkohsam. The meeting
decided that hence forth each household should have a proper place to throw the
waste materials from their household. It was also decided that the farmers club
would submit an application to the concerned authorities for construction of garbage
in the village.The application
has already been submitted during the month of June 2015 and now the people are
awaiting the response.
Another meeting was convened by the
farmers club during July 2105 where all the 70 households of the village
attended. The village elders gave a reminder to all to have a proper place for
disposing waste materials in every household as it was high time to think constructive
now. It was encouraging to observe that
the people decided enact a rule that would amount to imposing fines tuning to
Rs 2000.00 to the households that do not have a proper garbage disposal in
place within the household. It was also decide that a fine of Rs 500.oo shall
be slapped on anyone found disposing wastes in public places other than a
dustbin. “Our farmers club’s decision was
agreed to and respected by one and all in the Domkohsam”, said Mr. Triphon
Marngar, one of the active members of Farmer Club.
It was a change that changed the face
of Domkohsam from being an ugly place with waste materials all around to a
beautiful & clean village. Domsohkam is now a sitting example of how
peoples’ collective action can do the magic.
Contributed by: Brolius D Marbaninag, Coordinator, NSSS, Nongstoin, Meghalaya
Edited by: Prabal Sen, Caritas India, Guwahati, Assam