[ Karyir Riba ]
ROING, Sep 13: A simple idea, a little hard work, and unity can bring a lot of changes. This has been proved by the residents of Ezengo village in Lower Dibang Valley district.
The 40 households in the village have come together to keep their surrounding areas clean and green through jungle-cutting and avenue plantation activities.
It was a brainchild of a group of women of the village, which brought all the residents of the area together. Till today, more than 500 ornamental saplings have been planted in and around their village.
“It all started when we observed certain antisocial behaviours around the area, where young boys and girls could often be seen consuming alcohol on the roadside in the evening time,” said a resident.
As the antisocial activities had been increasing day by day, a group of women of the village decided to take it upon themselves to prevent further escalation of the situation.
The group observed that the bushes along the roadsides had turned into little jungles, providing cover to mischief-makers. Hence, an idea was born in the minds of these women to clean and beautify their village.
“We wanted to clear all the wild bushes from the roadside for safety as well as aesthetic reasons. We also wanted to plant ornamental trees all along the road, in and around our village, for beautification as well as to increase the green cover,” said Athupi Aprawe.
She said when they placed their idea before the village elders, they wholeheartedly welcomed it.
“Not only did they encourage us to start the work soon, they volunteered to offer assistance, both physically and financially, for the cause,” she said.
They bought saplings, manure, nets to protect the saplings, and other essentials with monetary contributions made by all the 40 households.
They also had to bring in truckloads of mud to level a few areas.
“We started working on it since May this year, and we made every effort to make it a success,” she said.
All the residents, men and women alike, gather on certain days and work patiently towards their goal.
“Unfortunately, some antisocial elements are at work again, this time in a different way. Many of our saplings are being stolen from the roadside plantations, along with the protection nets,” the women’s group said.
They said since it has been happening on almost a regular basis, the village committee is on the lookout to catch the culprits red-handed. Once they are caught, they will be handed over to the police as stealing and destruction of properties are both punishable offences, they said.
At the same time, the residents have appealed to all to not indulge in such antisocial activities.
“We are putting in a lot of hard work in making it successful. We are not doing it only for our village but also for the environment,” they said. They said they would share saplings with anyone who approaches them, but strongly appealed to people not to steal or destroy the plantations.
[ Karyir Riba ]