Meghalaya fights Corona with customary laws and stricter adherence to norms


As coronavirus cases in the country mark a record high, some positive news is here to share from Meghalaya.
The state has shown a better fight against the disease as stricter adherence to the COVID norms is considered a major factor, the role of the traditional institution in enforcing the rules and making people obey them are some of the major factors that have helped the state in its fight against this fatal virus.
While appreciating people for being discipline, Health Minister A.L. Hek said, “The people itself are very discipline; they always obey the advisory issued by the government from time to time for fighting corona.”
Mentioning about the role of traditional institution Hek said, “Traditional institutions joined hand with Government as the Government already constituted COVID management committees and they are working hard to enforce the directives of the government at the same time they became a bridge between Govt and people.  Here, people are too fighting together to protect their own people through various customary laws and practices.”
Many believe that tribal customs and practices have made the state stronger and mightier, the customary laws, as well as traditional institutions, taking it forward.
Congress Spokesperson and the MLA from Garo Hills, Zenith Sangma, while referring to Garo customary practices, said, “We call it in Garo – ‘Songrakia,’ whenever there is an outbreak of epidemic diseases, people cordon the village and do not allow outsiders to enter the Village. This is the culture and practice of the Garo community.”
Appreciating the traditional heads as well as the people for strict adherence to the rules, Sangma said,  “ People are vibrant, society is vibrant and people are conscious and we should be grateful to the people who are following and co-operating with the decision of the government.”
Meghalaya has a multi-layer governance structure. The state government looks after the overall affairs of the state, which is under the sixth schedule of the Constitution. There are autonomous district councils that have its own elected members. Traditional institutions and tribal headmen are very active at the grass-root level; they are playing a key role in the state’s fight against the virus.
When the Government says follow norms, maintain social distancing, people here actually adhere to the decision. That is the reason why the state has been able to keep the active count in the number low.  Presently, the state has 2,151 active cases with 75 deaths reported.