I am thirteen years old and when I heard about an essay competition being organized where young children like were invited to write on the topic “My 2030 vision for a sustainable, equitable and green Nagaland”, I felt much motivated. I feel this topic echoes within me because from a young age, these topics, especially about a green Nagaland, was inculcated in me at my school, my Sunday school and in my extended family. Therefore, I decided to participate as a student. But, the topic was vast for my young mind. So, I took knowledge from elders and read some books, otherwise, my young mind simply could not comprehend the scale of this huge intellectual topic on my own. Then I began to write, which was harder than reading or listening. But, ‘Imagination’, my uncle often used to say, ‘is the nectar of the mind; to imagine, you simply need to let you mind wander and wonder with your eyes wide open’. So, I began to imagine.
My 2030 Vision for a Sustainable Nagaland:
Again I looked up the dictionary and it says sustainable as something that is ‘able to be maintained at a certain rate or level’. So, I supposed that a sustainable Nagaland speaks about a self-sustaining state where every household is able to have three square meals a day, where everyone is employed in a gainful employment and where every citizen is free from wants. But, I felt sad because in our neighbourhood – and even in my extended family – there are many educated and semi-educated unemployed people. Thankfully, there are no beggars in my society till now. There are rich people; there are middle-class and people who are considered poor. But, even ‘poor people’ can afford their needs and fill their stomach. So, under such a circumstance, how do I imagine a sustainable Nagaland? I also aspire to be a writer once I grow up, but can writing sustain me. I have seen many writers living very frugal life; but something sustains their livelihood. I have come to realize that it is all about dignity of labour.
My mother, who is a teacher, always advises me to read books, which I always do; and she always counsel me that we don’t know what the future holds. I might become a chowkidar, a sweeper, or an officer; she says, ‘no job is too high or too low. Every job is dignified as long as it is honest earning. Therefore, I imagine a dignified Nagaland where people of different job holding work with dignity and respect for each other. Through that, I believe a sustainable Nagaland, where even I, if I become a chowkidar, can live in a sustainable Nagaland with dignity and contribute something to the society.
My 2030 Vision for an Equitable Society:
Equitable was a new word but the dictionary again helped. It says ‘fair and impartial’. Then the picture became clearer. How can Nagaland be fair and impartial to all? The most common word I hear during discussion among elders in the family or the society is ‘corruption’. I often asked, what is corruption? I learnt from my elders that it is ‘ochimashi mapa inyakba dang ajar’ (dishonest works). So, I wonder, didn’t Jesus told us to be honest and truthful in our way of life? How can we be fair to all if we are corrupted? How can we imagine a sustainable, fair and impartial Nagaland if corruption persists? My grandma says, there is no dignity in corrupt practices, in the eyes of the Lord or in the eyes of man. Therefore, I imagine that Equitable Nagaland can be achieved only if corruption is completely eradicated from our society.
Finally, My Vision for a Green Nagaland:
My favorite topic. My school gives special emphasis on the environment. We maintain our own garden in our school too. I live in the outskirts of Mokokchung with my room overlooking the green hills and valleys. There are also rivers and streams, but the rivers are strewn with plastic and other wastes. There are fishes in the river too. The water is said to be too polluted. But over the years, our colony council collects Rs. 100 as sanitation fee from every household and collects the waste every Monday and Thursday. Now, we do not throw the waste in the river or nallah. Green society, as I was taught in school and family, is not only about the trees but also about the rivers too. Therefore, involving the colony or ward council in sanitation will go a long way in ensuring a green Nagaland. Also about the trees, as I live with my grandparents, my uncles often discuss about the trees in the family/clan land in the village which are hundreds of years. One of my uncles often strongly assert that if those trees planted by the grandparents are cut for timber, then even the love among the ‘cousins’ would grow cold and will be lost along with it. Therefore, if every clan could maintain the trees in their lands as a heritage of the grandparents, then the Nagaland would remain green forever where humans and animals would live in harmony like we read in the comic books.
My 2030 Vision is simple and pure. I aspire to grow up as a responsible citizen and travel the world. The internet has brought the world closer and I believe that a Green Nagaland, a society that is sustainable and equitable, will immensely contribute to the world community. Our society is small, but ‘little drops of water makes mighty oceans’. Nagaland joining the world community in preserving our environment and fighting climate change makes us leaders in our own right. I pray our present Naga leaders lead in the right direction for ‘us’, the future generation. Thank you.
Mr. Otsungbong Jamir
Postal Address: House No. 434,
Kumlong Ward Mokokchung – 798601