Youths paint streets, spread positive vibe amid pandemic and cold in Ukhrul
A group of young locals of Ukhrul district took to the streets to beautify their town and ring in the festive joy ahead of Christmas Day
As Christmas Day nears, a group of young people beautified Ukhrul town by painting graffiti in the streets to brighten up the place and spread positivity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the cold.
Ten youths, who call themselves Salis spread cheers and warmth as they painted the streets with different themes for a week. They painted the walls of Viewland Baptist Church and Hamleikhong Bus stand with themes and messages related to identity, religion and environment among others.
Speaking to the Imphal Free Press, a member of the group Sorinthan Haorei said that he gathered local artists in the town with the aim to promote their talent and skills and to let them contribute for the town.
“I hope this project will instil them a responsibility of taking care of their own town,” Sorinthan said, adding that the members worked with dedication and enthusiasm from 6 in the morning till late night.
When asked about the group name ‘Salis’, he said that ‘Salis’ is the Latin word for Salt. “Our contribution may be as tiny as salt but we want to keep contributing to the society,” he said with a smile.
Sorinthan further stated that the initiative will help create a lively and healthy environment and give a breather to the residents as they enjoy the meaningful and colourful artworks.
The town will look more refreshing and the people can get some relief from the unhealthy environment created due to bad road conditions. The artworks can become a tourist attraction and boost tourism in the town, he added.
Adolescents will be drawn to such places to hang out instead of indulging in unhealthy activities. Besides, the artworks will be a special gift to the residents of the town especially the youth as they love lively and happening places, he said.
The project will also be a special gift for the town as Christmas is also approaching. The town needs places to gather residents of all ages which make them relax and calm, he noted, adding that the painting of murals and graffiti in the town can be the solution to it.
Sorinthan further said that the amenities in the town have been increased manifold but the town planning and its overall growth remains a huge concern with the roads being in poor condition and dusty during the dry season and muddy during the rainy season.
With the growing number of vehicles in comparison with the small size of the road, there is hardly any space for pedestrians as the roads are occupied by vehicles, he pointed out.
"Our concern is whether the arts will be taken care of. If they are taken care of as our own property, they will last longer and continue to brighten the town," he said, adding the team Salis plan to continue with more group projects in the future.
The Cleanliness Drive
On December 5, around 500 young returnees conducted a mass cleanliness drive in Ukhrul from Dungrei junction till Kharasom Junction. Initiated by leaders of Tangkhul communities from various states in the country, the cleanliness drive with the theme ‘our town, our responsibility’ was conducted to create awareness on self-responsibility for the cleanliness and development of the town amid the pandemic.
Speaking exclusively to the Imphal Free Press, one of the returnees said, "Though we are forced to return home due to the pandemic, we took it as a privilege to serve our community... We do not want to stay in the town and do nothing. As a stakeholder of the town we want to take the responsibility to make the town neat and clean".
The returnees collected around 14 trips of trucks which is an indication that Ukhrul town is in a mess.