GUWAHATI: They say Mizos are born disciplined.
When cops elsewhere in the country are struggling to keep people indoors in the COVID-19 lockdown, the roads in Mizoram have remained deserted. Nobody is venturing out unnecessarily.
In the only 14 cases registered so far against lockdown violators, altogether 65 people have been arrested by the police. The offenders were basically people who had ventured out to travel from one place to another.
So far, the state recorded just one COVID-19 positive case. The police said people had been very cooperative.
“The violators in Mizoram are not like what you see in other places. Some people wanted to go to some places in their vehicles. So, we booked them. However, they were not disturbing the public as such,” Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) John Neihlaia told this newspaper.
He said only those exempted from the purview of the lockdown, such as people engaged in the delivery of essential services, government officials etc, could be seen on the streets.
“Recently, curfew was clamped. When it was lifted, people protested. So, it had to be re-imposed on the requests of people,” Neihlaia said.
Aizawl-based activist-turned-politician Vanlalruata said the community-based organisations (CBOs) were playing a big role in disciplining people.
“People are not venturing out unnecessarily. They know what they should do and what they shouldn’t at this time. That awareness was created by the government, NGOs, church leaders and of course, the CBOs,” Vanlalruata said.
Reverend Rinsanga, who is the secretary of Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitu Committee which is a conglomerate of all church denominations, said they, besides some NGOs, had appealed to people to abide by the lockdown guidelines.
“The children in Mizoram are taught discipline at the Sunday schools in churches. So, a sense of discipline is inculcated among Mizos at a very tender age,” he said.
Mizoram is the only state in the country where there is no honking of vehicles or unnecessary overtaking. There is, however, one dark spot though in the Mizo society. At 2.04 per cent, the state has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the country.