Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Sovima sets benchmark in participatory governance

Staff Reporter

Sovima under Chümoukedima district has set a new benchmark in participatory governance. Even as districts, towns and villages in Nagaland grapple to devise an appropriate approach to ensure good governance, Sovima is adopting a systematic approach to ensure transparency and effective governance.
Local authorities and people seemed to have understood what it takes to be the next role model for their State with their collective approach, participation and contribution without the help of the government for development.
Speaking with Nagaland Post, Sovima Village Council (SVC) chairman Sebastian Zumvü said they wanted to turn Sovima into a cosmopolitan location with active participation of the citizens in governance.
He mentioned that a nation could not develop unless the rural areas were developed, adding that they would particularly focus on making the lives of the inhabitants better, easier and healthier. He also stressed that a nation could not progress without the active involvement, participation and cooperation of the citizens. He specified that contribution did not necessarily mean financial contribution, but also in terms of sharing ideas, physical presence and labour.
Zumvü mentioned that their main focus areas were roads, proper sanitation and healthcare, adding that whenever the council took up developmental activities like filling potholes, construction of drains and maintaining proper sanitation, the localities had volunteered to participate as labourers and supervise the machineries for the work and even went to the extent of voluntarily pooling in funds to purchase necessary materials.
As sanitation was a priority, he claimed that garbage from all households were being regularly collected. He said many households paid monthly fee to the sanitation committee though they did not use the service, since they realised that the committee had to pay for fuel and salaries to employees.
And to ensure that every household paid for the service, he disclosed that they insisted that the sanitation card be produced if anyone wanted permanent residency certificate or signature of GB or the council.
He said the SVC had requested all churches and educational institutions at the village to conduct monthly social work around the village and chalk out a yearlong roster. He mentioned that the council had also directed shopkeepers along the national highway to keep their surroundings clean.
Zumvü also cited several factors that made Sovima stand out from rest of the villages, such as organising frequent blood donation camps and planting of trees, adding that it was the first village to be declared the first village with blood centre facilities by Dimapur District Hospital Blood Bank. He said the village had already arranged 73 units of blood from three camps to the bank and would be organising another one next month.
Highlighting the village’s practice of “one government, one tax”, he declared that multiple taxations by various Naga political groups and other organisations on business establishments would not be entertained within their jurisdiction. He said whenever any individual or group wanted to establish business, he or she had to give an undertaking to the SVC not to pay any kind of taxes.
According to him, the council also focused on uplift of unemployed youth by sensitising them about various Central schemes to set up businesses to generate income.
The SVC chairman further mentioned that such progresses witnessed within their jurisdiction were due to the good coordination of the council with the Village Development Board (VDB) and Sanitation & Health Committee
He said funds pooled in from VDB were utilised appropriately with transparency to ensure systematic chain of work for the society.
He divulged that some of the development activities at the village included construction of three traditional wells, proper drainage system, upgrade of connecting roads, expansion of road and contributing classroom to government primary school ‘F’ in 2013.
Zumvü further requested the public to contributed to the society and be a part of the collective approach to build a better society. He hoped the village would be a living example and role model for the people of Nagaland.


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