West Sikkim conducts EVM and VVPAT Awareness and Sensitization for the Political Parties, Media and NGOs.

Gyalshing, 10th January, 2019 (IPR): A Program on EVM and VVPAT Awareness and Sensitization for the Political Parties, Media and NGOs under the Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) by the District SVEEP Nodal Officer was held at the New Warehouse, Kyongsa, West Sikkim. Present in the program were the DC-cum-RO Dr. A. B. Karki; Shri. Karma Lodey Lepcha, ADC (West); Shri. Tushar Nikhare, SDM; Officials from the Gyalshing Municipal Council; Principal and staffs along with Students from ITI. Also present during the program were the representatives from political parties of Sikkim namely the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) and Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM).
Dr. A. B. Karki, Returning Office, West mentioned that the program was conducted under the guidelines of the Election Commission of India and under the orders of the Chief Election Officer (CEO), Sikkim. He mentioned the awareness program was conducted to showcase and sensitize the political parties and media along with students on how the EVM and the VVPAT work. He stated that the West District Administration is working towards conduction of a fair and unbiased elections for which the participation and cooperation is sought from the Political Parties and Media. The meetings also decided and finalized on the place of conducting Public meetings and banners in West Sikkim unanimously. He also asked the political parties to be in touch with their respective Booth Level Agents and the BLOs in order to avoid any missing voters issues and to update accordingly in due time. He also mentioned that the SDMs and BDOs will continue to display and sensitize the EVMs and VVPATs in their respective areas of Jurisdictions for the public to be familiar with the Voting apparatus. He then urged all political parties for their kind cooperation in the election process and enjoy the festival of democracy peacefully.
He further announced that the 1st Draft Publication of Electoral Roll would be available from the 18th January, 2019 which would be available for the political parties and general public to avail and cross check their respective names.

A daylong training on Substance Use Disorder and Tuberclosis organised by Health Care

Namchi, 10th January (IPR): A daylong training on Substance Use Disorder and Tuberclosis organised by Health Care, H.S
& FW Department for panchyat presidents, municipal councillors, medical officers of PHCs/CHCs and health workers of PHSCs was conducted at the conference hall of District Hospital Namchi today.

Chairman NJMC Mr. Tika Gurung attended the program as the Chief Guest alongside special guest DC South Mr Prabhakar Verma. The program also saw the attendance of District Nodal Officer South, Dr. Urgen Sherpa, Mission Director of NHM Dr. Bimal Rai, Panchayat Presidents, municipal councillors, medical officers, health workers, police personnel and other stakeholders from South district.

Chief Guest Mr. Tika Gurung addressed the gathering where he lauded the initiative of the Health department for organising program of such nature which acts as a catalyst for a positive change in our society towards eradication of drug abuse. He spoke in detail about the dire need of creating a mass awareness regarding the hazards of drug addiction and illegal trafficking in the society of today. He also bought to light the existence of an OST and health centre in Jorethang established for the benefit and welfare of both TB patients and drug abusers by the State Government. Additionally, he also highlighted that the revised acts relating to SADA have been garnering positive results as they are aiding drug addicts to socialise and reintegrate themselves into the society. The Chief Guest also proposed a dire need of prevention programs that are properly implemented by schools and communities whereby teachers, parents, family and the society as a whole comes together in eradicating and uprooting drug hazard from its source.

DC Prabhakar Verma also addressed the gathering wherein he emphasised the immense responsibility of the stakeholders from all walks of life in curbing TB as well as drug abuse. He appealed the Panchayats to work in coordination with the health department to identify, monitor and refer people to rehabilitating centres and hospitals who have fallen prey to substance abuse or patients who have been diagnosed with TB. Likewise, he urged civil societies, religious organization, student, teachers, educators and youths and media to shoulder collective responsibility in making Sikkim a drugs free state and asked each of them to shoulder key role in motivating drug users towards leading a healthy life.

Resource person for the technical session, Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Bibhusan Dahal gave a comprehensive PPT presentation on Substance Use Disorder. He discussed various types of substance abuse and elaborated the most common ones relevant to Sikkim. Illustrating and assessing instances of mental illness, addictive behaviour, environmental and risk factors arising out of drug abuse was also dealt with during the session. Dr.Dahal also spoke about the management and mitigation methods as well as intervention to identify, control and prevent drug abuse amidst vulnerable drug users in our society.

Resource person, State Programme Officer (SADA) Dr. Tekendra Rai also took to the occasion to explain how SADA works at controlling, regulating and preventing abuse of prescription drugs and controlled substances with abuse potential being misused by addicts and traffickers to make stringent provisions to deal with the ever increasing phenomenon of drug abuse. He explained how the act understands the societal challenges posed by addiction at various facets which serves the state, well in terms of fighting the social menace.

Similarly, S.I Mr. Prashant Rai also spoke about the roles and responsibilities of police in addressing drug abuse, drug peddling and drug smuggling in the society. He delved into the search and seizure procedure adopted by the police during various drug busting operations and also addressed the misconception held by the society against the police personnel in terms of disposal of seized drugs. He also made the participants of the meeting aware about the social media handles of Sikkim Police and South District Police where people under anonymity can report cases of drug peddling or consumption in their vicinity.

DTO (East) Dr. Shanti Mishra also spoke about prevention and control of Tuberculosis in the workshop where she made the gathering aware about symptoms, effects and caused of Pulmonary TB. She also spoke about the prevalence of social stigma against TB patients and urged the society at large to redress this attitude of ostracism. Dr. Mishra also spoke about treatments for TB while also explaining various support rendered by the Central and state Government for the TB patients of lower strata of society. She earnestly called upon the panchayats to publicize the aim of the State Government to make Sikkim free of MDR-TB by the year 2022 and shared that a monthly grant of Rs 3,000 to every TB patient as nutritional support and cash award of Rs 5 lakh for the TB-free gram panchayat unit and Rs 10 lakh for a zilla panchayat territorial constituency free from TB has been declared by the State Government.

The program also saw an interactive session between the participants of the training and the resource persons.

Government to examine and recommend granting of Scheduled Tribe status to the eleven left out communities

Namchi January 9 (IPR): Three member committee constituted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India to examine and recommend regarding granting of Scheduled Tribe status to the eleven left out communities of the state visited Nizrameng today. The delegates who are on a two day official tour of the state comprised of Mrs. Meera Ranjan Tshering, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs,who is also the Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Gopal Sadhwani, Director,Ministry of Tribal Affairs, also the Member Secretary, Prof. Soumendra M. Patnaik, Vice Chancellor of Utkal University as the member, alongwith officials of Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare department, Government of Sikkim.
The visit was basically for the purpose of understanding, examining and to study the socio-economic conditions of the eleven left out communities of the State.
During the last leg of their visit, the delegates met and interacted with the members of the communities and enquired upon the various rituals, customs, traditions, cultures, food habits, language of these communities.

It may be mentioned here that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal Ministry for overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for development of Scheduled Tribes.

Day long Consultation Meeting of the Committee Constituted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Gangtok, Jan 8: (IPR) Day long Consultation Meeting of the Committee Constituted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Government of India with the state government and eleven left out communities for inclusion as Scheduled Tribes was held at Chintan Bhawan today. The Committee was headed by Smt. Meera Rnajan Tshering, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs. The meeting was organized by the Department of Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare, Government of Sikkim.
The meeting was attended by the Chairman, OBC Board Shri. T. N Sharma, Smt. Meera Rnajan Tshering, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, who is also Chairperson of Committee, Tribal Affairs, GoI, Director of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Shri Gopal Sadhwani, who is also Member Secretary, Prof. Soumendra Patnaik, Vice Chancellor of Utkal University as Member, Principal Secretary of Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare, Shri K. Srinivasulu, Secretary of Social Welfare department, Smt. Dhan Jyoti Mukhia, Secretary of SCBC, Shri H.K Sharma, Chairman of Eleven Indigenous Ethnic Communities of Sikkim (EIECOS), Dr. S.K Rai and representatives of all 11 left out communities of Sikkim and its members.

Delivering key note address, Chairman OBC Board Shri T. N Sharma said, “The reason of Committee’s visit headed by Chairperson of Committee, Smt. Meera Ranjan Tshering to Sikkim and having meeting with us is a welcome step by the Centre government to reiterate the stand of the Sikkim government on this issue. The state government has already put forth a clear stand on this issue more than once. The state government has ample reason with valid justification to recommend the demand of these left out communities to recognize them as tribal.”
He informed the house about Sikkim Summit for Tribal Status to Eleven Left-out Communities of Sikkim, which was held last year in Gangtok.
He briefed about the report submitted by Sikkim government to Centre government.
The Chairperson presented the synopsis and the background of the demand of eleven left out ethnic communities of Sikkim, namely; Bhujel, Gurung, Manger, Jogi/Sanyasi, Chettri, Bahun, Newar, Rai, Sunuwar/Mukhia, Thami and Yakha (Dewan). And he said that the demand of Sikkimese Left-out ethnic communities of Sikkim is bonafide demand based on historical, sociological and constitutional justifica

Chairperson of Committee, Smt. Meera Ranjan Tshering in her address said, “When I came Sikkim this morning, my exposure and understanding was limited to paper and documents. But I have seen different perspective and I don’t know whether that perspective, how far that would go further. We (team from MoTA) would like take back all the findings with us and consider it properly”.

During their two days stay in Sikkim, the Committee will be visiting some of the places and meeting some of the communities and try to gather first-hand information about them to substantiate their reports.

Earlier, Chairman of EIECOS, Dr. S.K Rai presented brief report of EIECOS and how it has been trying for the Tribal status of the 11 left out communities of Sikkim for over one decade.

Assistant Professor of Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College, Dr. Rajen Upadhya gave power point presentation on historical aspect of 11 communities. In his submission, he mentioned about historical right, need right and justice right of left out communities and based on the aspiration of people for equal rights of man and true constitutional democratic value.

During the programme, representatives of all 11 Left-out Communities, Chairman of EIECOS and Chairman OBC Board submitted their memorandums to the Chairperson of Committee, Smt. Meena R Tsherin

Hands on training on Electronic Voting Machine and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail

Mangan, 7th January: A hands on training on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) for Electoral Registration Officers (EROs), Assistant Electoral Registration Officers (AEROs), Supervisory Officers of North District was held today at Zilla Bhavan Coference, Mangan.
The District Collector (North) Shri Karma R Bonpo, Additional District Magistrate, Shri Somnath Adhikari, SDMs, BDOs and Revenue Officers attended the training programmed conducted by State Level Master trainer and SDM, Ravangla Shri Jigmee Wangchuk Bhutia and Additional Director, Election Department. A hands on training on EVMs and VVPATs was provided and the trainees were informed about the working of the EVMs/VVPATs machine.
The District Collector (North) stated that VVPATs were for the first time being used in the district and therefore there is a need to provide wide awareness to the public on the working of the VVPATs. In this regard the SDMs and BDOs are to provide the awareness training to the general voters from their offices in the near future. He also stated that most of the SDMs, BDOs and ROs will perform the roles as sector magistrate and therefore they should be experts in the use of these machines.
The District Administration North will provide wide awareness on EVMs and VVPATs as part of SVEEP (Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation) program in the coming days.