Effort underway to make Thembang ‘zero-waste village’

THEMBANG, Apr 17: In order to restore the ‘ethics and beauty’ of the proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thembang, a team from the tourism department has initiated a community-based waste management programme here, in lieu of the upcoming Thembang Heritage Festival to be held from 18 to 20 April.
The resource team includes Dr Sanjay K Gupta, waste management expert and founder of Care North East, Merwyn Coutinho, founder of Further and Beyond Foundation, the project coordinator of the zero-waste village programme and his team members Ittisha Sarah and Millo Ankha, along with officials of the tourism department.
Dr Gupta addressed the villagers on the issue of cleanliness and waste management. He spoke about the destructive habits villagers engage in in their day-to-day lives, like littering and burning waste, which collectively hampers the surroundings.
He urged the villagers to help the team in “not only making Thembang a clean, safe, and a zero-waste village, but also to restore the village’s architectural heritage.”
The team earlier made an assessment survey across the village. Door-to-door reporting was done on three main factors – waste disposal (dry & wet), sanitation, and drainage for two days.
Following this, Dr Sanjay and the team initiated the first phase of the Thembang zero-waste village programme – a 100-day challenge.
Earlier, on 12 April, a clean-up drive was conducted by the villagers, the team, and administrators of the circle.
A waste management team was formed from among the villagers, and job descriptions were assigned to the team members to manage the cleanliness of the village.
The team aims to bring about a ‘clean Thembang’ by September 2018.
Efforts are being made by the community to restore the beauty of this fortified village, which has a rich heritage with a history of wars that dates back to the 8th century, and a cultural lifestyle heavily influenced by Tibet and Bhutan.
The Monpa Bapu community is also preparing to host the upcoming Thembang Heritage Festival from 18-20 April, which also happens to be World Heritage Day.
A core committee comprising members from the local communities, along with Raj Basu from ACT, ADT Bengia Manna Sonam, West Kameng TIO Eileen Lowangcha, and others, will provide dustbins to every household for dumping dry and wet wastes, and volunteers will be engaged by the tourism department to collect and segregate wastes from every household.
The impact of the workshop will also be assessed during the celebration of the Thembang Heritage Festival.