Thursday 10 February 2011

Environmental Campaign

There are a cluster of Unitarian churches in North East India formed as a result of a reaction by locals against Calvinist Welsh missionaries. They form a vibrant village religion in the region. A key person is Helpme Mohrman, whom I knew at Unitarian College Manchester 1989-90. I remember him and me together finding Dad's Army on television particularly funny while the rest of the ecumenical Luther King House had its weekly Eucharist. We'd decided that this high pressure and exclusive Federation ritual had nothing to do with us. Dad's Army was our ritual and his introduction to British small town attitudes and bumbling along even in the face of a lingering enemy.

The Unitarian Union North East India has just had its one hundred and eleventh annual conference. One of its churches at Padu, Jaintia Hills, has just completed its one hundred year anniversary. In part of a report about this:

Rymbui also urged the liberal churches like the Unitarian to take up the issue of preserving and protecting the environment as the church’s agenda saying "We are blessed with the trees, rivers, forests and many other things which we need for survival. It is also our duty to protect and conserve them."

Indeed at present there is a campaign to save the local forests and caves from encroaching commercial mining, where clean water is more expensive than petrol and where rivers are being diverted and polluted by the mining.

Many rivers in Jaintia Hills have been at the mercy of unregulated and illegal mining especially in Khliehriat Civil Sub-Division, leading to acute water shortage due to the acidic nature of many rivers and water sources caused by acid mine drainage.

This disregard for rivers has reached new heights along the river Waikhyrwi, through the action of one Namon Bamon of Moopala village. Bamon has decided to change nature’s course literally by diverting a length of the Waikhyrwi river to facilitate coal mining on the river bed. The straight flow of the river has been diverted into a bend by depositing sand and stone along its natural course.

It is illegal but happening.

1 comment:

H.Helpme Mohrmen said...

Thanks once again. Do you have any plan to visit us someday. Lindy Latham is here with us now.