To Sunday Shillong,

It is quite heartening to see that the society is attaching utmost priority to the threat of plastic. Today, the million dollar question is, “How to stop the use of plastic?”
It has become one of the main root causes for our environmental degradation. Today, the central and state governments, NGOs, ministers, leaders and conscious individuals are seriously trying to come up with a permanent solution to this burning issue but a desirable solution remains elusive.

Looking down the memory lane, I remember the use of jute bags by our parents for carrying goods from shops and market. I also remember the use of paper packets made of old newspapers. It was a source of income for many poor families, especially women in financial distress. But the invention of plastic bags and packs killed these practices ruthlessly. Nowadays, plastic has become an integral part of our lifestyle. We are living in a comfort zone of plastic goods. At this stage how to change this habit?

The answer is very simple, just stop production of plastic bags by using legal steps. Because when there is no production, there will be no supply. If supply is stopped, there will be no demand because demands arise out of availability. All our habits are formed out of availability of commodities.
First, we have to stop production of plastic. Is it not hypocrisy that we condemn the use of a particular product and at the same time we allow production of the same? There should not be any middle path. So let’s decide first whether we want plastic to be abolished. If the answer is ‘yes’ then just ban production, cut it at its root otherwise all the summits, seminars, lectures and symbolic photographs published on this matter will become mere wastage of time, energy and money.
It is obvious that a big hue and cry will be created at plastic production units and in the market. No one will be willing to accept the sudden change but again if we look down the memory lane, we can recall the hue and cry that took place in the field of jute industry in several parts of our country. West Bengal was the worst sufferer. A large number of jute factories had to be shut down due to the decreasing demand. We are looking for an alternative to plastic bags. So can we not revive the production of eco-friendly and reusable jute bags and paper packs?

Thanking you
Rita Ghosh

To Sunday Shillong,

This is in reference to the article, ‘Perishing in Plastic Age’, that was published on September 8. It has been truly pointed out in the article that plastic is an integral part of our life and it cannot be rejected so easily. From water pipes, furniture, food packages to shoes, almost everything has plastic in it. We can reduce use of different forms of plastic but we cannot stop using plastic at this point. The process of eliminating plastic from the system has to be a gradual one and every individual has to participate in that. The challenge in front of us is that we have no proper substitute for plastic and until we have that we have to work strategically to reduce plastic usage. We can use waste paper, newspapers and other types of rejected paper to make bags. We can use rejected clothes to make bags too. That way we do not have to buy bags from the market. We have to recycle all other items so that resources can be saved. It is a long and tedious process but this is the only way to save our home.

Thanking you
Arpita Paul

To Sunday Shillong,

This is in reference to the article, ‘75 years & still scoring high’, that was published on September 8. It took me back to my childhood days when I would go to the field with my elder brothers and cousins to watch football. Some of my brothers were supporters of the Nongthymmai club and the rest supported another team. Every local football match would end in a quarrel among brothers over which team played the best and which player was the star of the day. But no matter which team we supported, all of us loved the style of the players of Nongthymmai. Football is a favourite sport in the state and these old clubs have contributed immensely in promoting the sport.
It is sad that an old club like this has to face financial problems. It is also a disgrace that no private entity has shown interest in sponsoring the club. Shillong needs more local-level clubs like Nongthymmai so that our children can be trained in various disciplines of sports from a young age. Sporting clubs like the one in Nongthymmai also spread the message of healthy lifestyle and youths here can focus on sports and stay away from ill habits. I hope that the Nongthymmai club overcomes all hurdles and continues the noble work. As an old fan of the club and its players, I wish Nongthymmai Sports and Cultural Club the very best for years and decades to come.

Thanking you
SW Swer

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