The Telegraph
Saturday , April 27 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Passing the buck? Better share the blame

- Papon, Islam, Nishita and Kapil join hands to say ‘I am responsible’ for Guwahati’s civic problems
Actress Nishita Goswami speaks at the launch of the campaign in Guwahati on Friday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, April 26: Their lives began on the banks of the Brahmaputra and now, after tasting success in myriad fields, they have joined hands to make residents here realise that flash floods can’t be wished away. Someone has to take responsibility and find a solution.

Singer Angaraag Mahanta, playwright Baharul Islam, actors Kapil Bora and Nishita Goswami and activist Arman Ali, among others, stood on the banks of the Brahmaputra here today and admitted, “I am responsible”, for the flash floods.

They accepted that it was their habit of throwing garbage on the streets and drains that resulted in flash floods and appealed to people to accept the responsibility in order to make a difference.

The public awareness campaign, “I am Responsible”, launched here today to tackle the annual problem of urban floods, is an initiative of Kamrup (metro) district disaster management authority.

“Guwahati is a lovely city and I feel comfortable when I lie on my bed here after the day’s work. As we always make sure we can sleep soundly at the end of the day, we should be equally responsible for our city. We are very good at protesting and blaming each other when there are flash floods but have we ever pondered how much we are responsible for the flooding?” Islam asked.

A group of young artists, singers, an animation filmmaker and photographers will also use their talents to urge people to change their habits and make a difference.

While young visual artist Ranjan Engticode is using his attractive paintings to educate the masses, singers Arup Jyoti Baruah and Vivek Shyam are highlighting illegal cutting of hills and the use of plastic through a song. On the other hand, filmmaker Dhrubajyoti Saikia has made a two-minute animation, Cleaner Bin, to highlight how people avoid using garbage bins and throw waste on the streets and into drains instead.

Angarag Mahanta, popularly known as Papon, said instead of blaming others, people should introspect and make sure they do nothing harmful to the society.

Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner Ashutosh Agnihotri, who is often blamed for not doing enough to address the problem, said, “It’s not about passing the buck onto others. As a government representative, I am also responsible and appeal to all to join hands for the campaign.”

In addition, young boys and girls will stage streets plays, take out heritage bus drives and bike rides, workshops, exhibitions and try to make residents of the city realise they were also responsible for flash floods in some way and help them transform into “responsible citizens”.

The campaign will run through May and June.