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Northeast creative juices flow against Covid

States find unique ways to fight surge of cases

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 09.07.20, 01:08 AM
The creativity hub at Nagaland’s Chizami village

The creativity hub at Nagaland’s Chizami village Picture released by DIPR, Nagaland

The northeastern states follow a trend of doing things differently and have found unique means to deal with the surge in Covid-19 cases.

In Tripura, the government has launched a scheme to distribute free vitamin C-enriched lemon and pineapple juice to urban residents every Saturday to boost their immunity.


The move will also help nearly 300 local fruit growers and women self-help groups involved in the distribution.

Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, launching the Mukhyomontri Corona Protirodh Abhiyan in ward 25 of Agartala Municipal Corporation on Saturday, said distribution of juice would take place between noon and 4pm till July-end. The drive will be monitored by the National Urban Livelihood Mission.

“I hope you have taken care of your mother, father and the elderly in your houses like this. If you haven’t, offer this drink to them. It will help in boosting their immunity to prevent diseases and protect themselves from coronavirus….And share photos and videos of this great work on social media,” Deb wrote on facebook on Sunday.

Tripura has 1,717 positive cases with one death so far.

In Manipur, the government has come up with a web portal to share inspiring stories related to the pandemic to spread positivity and create awareness. There are 1,430 positive cases in Manipur.

Chief minister N. Biren Singh launched the portal: To be managed by the department of health and family welfare, the portal will feature crowd-sourced stories and pictures of recovered Covid-19 patients, frontline workers, volunteers and NGOs, among others.

Biren Singh said stories shared on the portal would reflect the positivity, perseverance and determination of the people in tackling the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Apart from the government, a few states have also seen community participation in tackling the virus.

At Chizami village in Phek district of Nagaland, a huge, colourful hoarding reads, “COVID-19 Creativity Hub Chizami”. It hangs above the bamboo and tin huts constructed on the village school ground to house the returnees who are placed under quarantine. Nagaland has over Covid 600 cases so far.

Convenor of the government-instituted Covid-19 task force at Chizami, Wetshete Thopi, said the idea of the colourful hoarding was intended to dispel the negativity that has engulfed everyone, including the unspoken fear of the returnees.

Months of lockdown and further quarantine at various facilities within the state have taken a huge toll on their mental health.

To induce a positive atmosphere, the village council decided to name the facility a “creativity hub” instead of “quarantine centre.”

North East Network (NEN), a leading NGO, provided the necessary tools and kits to the returnees, such as diary/notebook, drawing book, poster, pencil, paint and brush to make use of their time creatively by writing stories, poems, drawing and painting, and craft work as they bide their time at the centre. Their works will be collected and published by NEN.

Community participation in the Northeast has also earned the praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his June 30 Mann Ki Baat monthly programme.

He praised the “inspiring” story of Mirem village in Arunachal Pradesh’s East Siang district, where residents built 14 huts for home quarantine of the returnees.

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