This is in response to the article “Centring the Northeast” (June 5). I have recently relocated to the northeast after staying for several years in cities and metros like Bangalore, Coimbatore, Delhi, Kanpur and Thiruvananthapuram. As mentioned in the article, the power problem is quite prominent here. But having said that, I feel blessed to be in an area where I can breathe some clean air, where the day is largely free of the sound of honking vehicles and where there are cattle on the roads. But what is obvious is the unfortunate influence of city life — there is plastic waste everywhere, the culture of dumping waste in landfills exists and there is ostentatious display of material culture by the ‘haves.’ The northeastern region urgently requires panchayat-level educators, facilitators and entrepreneurs who understand these new ills and who will involve local people in designing solutions instead of leaving them to people elsewhere in the country.