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Rebel cradle becomes Asia’s first green village

The Indian Army has helped construct community assets from public toilets to irrigation facilities.

Published: 10th December 2016 11:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th December 2016 09:29 AM   |  A+A-

Methahetho Chase at the gate of Khonoma village in Nagaland

KHONOMA (NAGALAND): “My grandfather said by killing Mahatma Gandhi, Indians sealed the fate of Naga independence,” says Methahetho Chase, grandson of Naga National Council chief Angami Zapu Phizo, known as the ‘Father of the Nation of Nagas’.

A resident of the 3,000- strong Khonoma village, 22 km from Kohima, Chase says Phizo had met Gandhi before Independence, after which he sought verbal support for Nagaland’s freedom. A close friend of Subhas Chandra Bose, Phizo allied with the Japanese in Burma during World War II. Today Khonoma is Asia’s first green village.

The Indian Army has helped construct community assets from public toilets to irrigation facilities. A total ban exists on hunting, and jhum cultivation, without which no Naga village can survive. Now, waste generated in the village is segregated and disposed by incineration. In 1998, the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary was established by the Khonoma village council to protect wild animals and birds, including the rare tragophan bird, said Chase. “We have conserved over 123.23 sq km of forest in Khonoma village, and people practice wet rice cultivation in terrace farms,” he said. Owing to its history of resistance to outsider rule, Khonoma has over 1,000 country- made guns, despite the hunting ban.



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