Churches need to work with Civil Societies & Govt to implement NLTP Act 1989 effectively: Dr. Keyho

Churches need to work with Civil Societies and Government to implement NLTP Act 1989 effectively: Dr. Keyho
(Dignitaries during the consultative meeting at Dimapur on December 15, 2020)

Dimapur, December 15 (NEx): The Christian Forum Dimapur (CFD) and Joint Christian Forum Nagaland (JCFN) jointly organized a Consultative Meeting cum Pre-Christmas Program under the theme, “Heal Nagaland” on December 15, 2020, at Bethesda Higher Secondary School, Walford Colony, Dimapur, Nagaland.

The CFD in a notification said that the objective of the meeting was to discuss on various issues like Church response to Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act of 1989, Church response to Unemployment & Youth Issues in Nagaland, Church response to Present Political situation in Nagaland.

Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho, the Secretary NBCC and Chairman, Joint Christian Forum Nagaland in his key note address said that Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition ACT (NLTP) 1989 is an important issue to be discussed and Churches need to work together with the experts, Civil societies and government to implement the act scientifically and effectively.

‘Churches needs to collaborate with various stake holders to develop some practical strategies to implement the NLTP ACT effectively. We need to admit that the government and the church have failed to act upon the ACT systematically and effectively’, Keyho said.

He said that the Church cannot hold on the ACT without doing anything systematically, professionally and intelligently and also opined that Churches need to take criticism positively and constructively. The time has come for all of us, especially the Churches, Government, Civil Society Organizations to work together and make the dream of the people of Nagaland a reality.

Shri. Moanwati Aier the former Deputy Commissioner, Dimapur and Commissioner Excise said that Nagaland is not the only state in India prohibiting Liquor. Presenting the statistics about various states in India following prohibition of liquor, like in Kerala, Gujarat, Manipur, Mizoram and Bihar, he mentioned that these states are performing better than that of ours because they have very stringent measures, where laws and defaulters are severely punished. Like any other social issues alcoholism is another serious social evil. While explaining the challenges and issues, he also gave strategies to combat the issue effectively, and mentioned that, above all what is more important is the will and desire to do.

Dr. Sedevi Angami, Director CIHSR presented alcohol hazards and its effects on the life of the individuals and the society. He warned the future consequences on children and youth if the Act is lifted. He also mentioned various strategies to help the Churches and Civil Society fight the issue effectively.

The Director also mentioned that in order to bring effective implementation the ACT we need to have good governance, dynamic leadership in the local and state level. He also suggested that, in order to effectively respond to the various issues by the church, it needs proper curriculum for spiritual and social activities. He also asserted about non-discriminatory approach, the need to teach the children and youth and gradually, the need for all to overcome the tribalism issues.

Meanwhile, Rev. James Ngullie briefed the initiatives, activities and various programmes conducted by various Churches in response to the NLTP ACT.

Ps. Yanbemo Lotha highlighted the various youth related issues, challenges and how to respond positively to resolve the issues faced by churches in the state. He also mentioned that around 21.5% youths are unemployed in our state and urged the church to be an agent for the youth unemployment and a facilitator for helping them to find meaningful life. He further stated that the Nagaland churches are focusing on outside mission rather than helping our own youths who are unemployed.

Rev. Moses Murry the Chairman welcomed everyone and spoke on behalf of the Churches’ response to the political situation of the state. The gathering decided to pray for unity and reconciliation among all the political groups to come together and work for lasting peace and sustainable development. He also mentioned that the unique history of the Nagas need to be respected and solution should not bring any further escalation of violent conflicts among the people of God. He also spoke about the proposed action plan.

Short speeches were also given by Naga Women HOHO represented by Mrs. Elis.Z.Swu, Dimapur Naga Students’ Union (DNSU) was represented by Mr.Nupato K. Chishi and Nagaland NGO Forum was represented by Dr. Hesheto.

A Christmas message was given by Rev. Fr. Chacko Karinthayil, Rev. Dr. P. Dozo, Advisor CFD pronounced invocation and Ps. Lanu Akum said the benediction. Mrs Rita Kikon Secy. Women Committee CFD chaired the program while Dr.Fr.C.P Anto, Secretary CFD moderated the panel discussion.

The programme was attended by around 46 persons, including representatives from various organizations – women, youth, churches, civil society organizations etc. The consultative meeting ended with a plan of action and to form a participatory and inclusive working committee under the leadership of Mr. Moanwati Aier.