Published: 17th July 2020
Art, positivity and sunshine: Why the quarantined in this Nagaland village are full of good cheer
This facility, built by the residents of the village, has 14 huts with 28 beds at present and is located on the outskirts of the hamlet
The Coronavirus pandemic has had an adverse effect on our mental state as well — the numbers keep growing exponentially breaking records every day, the economy is also in its worst possible state. But in the midst of all this gloom, there are people who are trying hard to lift our spirits. The COVID quarantine centre in Nagaland's Chizami village is setting an example. The local quarantine centre is called the COVID Creativity Hub and they have changed the concept that quarantine centres have a shadow of sadness cast over them.
This facility, built by the residents of the village, has 14 huts with 28 beds at present and is located on the outskirts of the hamlet. This allows the quarantined individuals to come out and get a breath of fresh air as well. "We had started building the hut from May 24 and the first returnees came on June 4. After they have stayed in quarantine for 14 days in the government centres the people who have come back from other states need to be home quarantined for another 14 days. But that's a bit tricky here in the rural areas because a lot of people stay in one room accommodations or even share bathrooms. So the village community decided to build the community quarantine centre and also formed a COVID Task Force," said Wetshete Thopi, an Assistant Professor at Patkai Christian College (Autonomous) Dimapur and a resident of the Chizami village. He is the convenor of the Creativity Hub as well.
So what's so special about this centre? They are encouraging those who are quarantined to engage in either drawing or painting, writing, or any creative work that they want to involve themselves with. "They have already gone through a lot — from travelling from their workplace in Mumbai, Delhi or Bengaluru to staying at the quarantine centres in Dimapur or Kohima and now that they are back home, they do not need to be stressed anymore. Naming the quarantine centre creativity hub and giving them the basics like art paper and stationery to draw and write what they want would have a positive effect on their mental state," said Wetshete. Local NGO, North East Network collaborated with the villagers and provided the stationery and not just that, these works of art will also be published by the NGO.
But did this little effort help? Immensely, said Tshekupe Mekrisuh, a web designer based out of Bengaluru. "There was a positive vibe all around us when we were in quarantine here. It did not feel like it was something ominous. We were staying in these nice huts and were going out for some fresh air from time to time. We were painting and writing about our experience for the entire day. It was a relief from all the negative energy that ha engulfed the world and helped us cope with the situation," he added