Awarness Programme on the ill effects of coal mining

The Department of Environment and Traditional Sciences of Martin Luther Christian University conducted an awareness programme on “The ill-effects of coal mining” in Mawkma village on the 8th of March 2019. The programme was conducted by the teachers along with the Undergraduate and Postgraduate students of the Department.

The programme began with a welcome speech by the Secretary of the town who, on behalf of the town, expressed his interest in the topic and was looking forward to whatever the presenters had in store for them.

Evan Diengdoh, a teacher of the Department, in his opening speech, thanked the town leaders for this opportunity and the local people who took time out to participate in this awareness programme. He further stated that the main objective of this programme is to ensure that whatever is learnt and taught in the classroom does not simply end there but is shared with the community in a way that will benefit them.

The awareness programme was carried out by the students who presented, with the aid of slides, the ill effects that coal mining has on the environment and on people’s health. Drowell Khriam, a 4th Semester undergraduate student, presented on the effects that coal mining has on the natural surroundings of the area where coal is mined. The acid that emanates from coal, when washed off to nearby lakes and rivers has an adverse effect on the aquatic life in them. Not only this, it also affects the biodiversity in that area. The mining of coal necessitates large scale deforestation that, in turn, has a long term effect on the environment and the habitat of animals. The water from the mines at times becomes stagnant on a piece of land for an extended period of time. This leads to the soil in that land becoming infertile thus rendering it uncultivable.

Daniel Lambor Kharbangar, a 4th Semester undergraduate student, presented on the ill-effects that coal mining has on water. When a flowing river comes in contact with coal, it is contaminated by the poisonous elements in the coal and it carries this poison downstream. This then leads to the contamination of drinking water thus causing diarrhoea, cough and irritation of the throat in the people who utilise the water for drinking.

Fortunately Paslein, a 2nd Semester postgraduate student, presented on measures with which the damage caused by coal can be reversed. The most effective method is the usage of limestone. The powdered residue of limestone should be sprinkled on the coal-affected soil and water thus neutralising the poisonous effects of coal. This will lead to the fertility of the soil substantially returning although the reversal process takes a considerable amount of time.

The locals were also acquainted with alternative means of livelihood, one of them being the promotion of tourism as Mawkma has a lot of natural beauty in the form of waterfalls thus making it a potential tourist attraction. The locals were also encouraged to take up entrepreneurship endeavours like bed-and-breakfast initiatives that have the prospect of generating good revenue for them.

To further highlight the ill-effects of coal mining, the students enacted a short skit about a family residing in a coal mining area and the difficulties that ensue when they learn that the head of the family has contracted various physical complications due to exposure to coal-infected water and soil.

The village headman, in his speech, thanked the University for this initiative and expressed hope that the efforts of the students and teachers will bear fruit on a long term basis. The locals also expressed that the programme had been helpful to them. They also stated that they have experienced many of the environmental problems highlighted in the programme and that they will follow the tips offered in the programme for reversing the environmental damage.

Mission Statement

To contribute to the sustainable development of Meghalaya and Northeast India, by providing knowledge, skills and values that will enable our students to become global citizens while upholding gender, ethnic and religious equity for all, conserving its bio-cultural heritage, and  by recognizing its Christian legacy and commitment .

Student's Pledge

We the incoming/outgoing students of the Martin Luther Christian University vow to always uphold the principles of Honesty, Sustainability, Tolerance and Respect, Quality, Perseverance, Humility, Teamwork, Leadership, Accountability and Recognition as upheld to us in the University. This pledge we make freely, fully understanding that these values will make us good humans and role models.

Contact Details

Martin Luther Christian University
Dongktieh, Block -1,
Nongrah, Shillong 793006
Ph: 0364-2535437/6009602012

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Registrar: 9862035368
Deputy Registrar: 9862853164
Dean, Academics: 9615137874
Dean, Research: 8974599017