First Batch of Sikkimese People Stranded in Nepal Return Home

Siliguri, May 31: (IPR) A total of 33 Sikkimese people stranded in Nepal returned to the State today through the Kakarvitta border.

The returnees comprised of 30 people from East District and 3 from South.
The returnees arrived at Panitanki, India, on foot through Kakarvitta border, Nepal. They were assisted by OC WBP, Panitanki Shri. Pradip Trikhatri along with his Police personnel and the SSB personnel.
The returnees were received by officials and staff of the State Government (SNT Siliguri) at Panitanki, from where they were brought back to Sikkim by two SNT buses.

It was informed that stranded people of Sikkim and Assam have been allowed by Nepal Government (as per the request from Government of India) to proceed to Panitanki, from Kakarvitta border.

On their way back, the returnees were provided food packets by the officers and staff of BDO office, Khoribari.

It may further be informed that people who were left out today would be evacuated tomorrow with similar arrangements.

(As per official information received from DGM, Transport Department, SNT Siliguri, Shri. Bhupendra Chettri).


Every year, 31″ May is observed as World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health and other risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. The theme for this year’s WNTD is ‘Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use Tobacco’. The campaign aims to sensitize and make the youth aware about the harmful effects of tobacco use and expose the tactics employed by the industry to attract the youth.

As per WHO fact sheet on COVID-19 and NCDs, people with pre-existing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) also appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with COVID-19. These NCDs include Cardiovascular disease (e.g. hypertension, persons who have had, or are at risk for, a heart attack or stroke); Chronic respiratory disease (e.g. COPD); Diabetes; Cancer. Smokers suffer from reduced lung capacity in the long term which greatly increases risk of serious illness including when affected due to COVID-19.

Further, smokeless tobacco users have a tendency to spit in public places or otherwise and therefore, increase health risks especially those of spreading infectious and contagious diseases like COVID 19, tuberculosis, swine flu, encephalitis, etc. The use of smokeless tobacco also creates unhygienic environment which further spreads the diseases. Large gathering at the retail outlets where smokeless tobacco products are sold, also pose the risk of spread of COVID-19.

The Guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs under National Disaster Management Act, stipulate that Spitting in public & work places shall be punishable with fine, as may be prescribed by the State/ local authority .

We understand that due to various norms/guidelines issued to control the spread of COVID-19, organizing regular WNTD activities could not be conducted this year. However, people should be made aware about the harmful effects of tobacco products especially linkage of tobacco use with the COVID-19 through the media.

In view of above ,State Tobacco Control Cell Health and Family welfare Department has decided to campaign through print media & social media, we appeal everyone to come forward and join hands to make our state “TOBACCO FREE” and also help to control spread of COVID 19.

Last but not least “do not Spit”, “just Quit ” and stay fit.

Issued in public interest by:

State Tobacco Control Cell,

Health & Family Welfare Department,

Government of Sikkim.

Education Department Contributes towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund

May 30, 2020, Gangtok: Hon’ble Minster for Education Sri Kunga Nima Lepcha today handed over a cheque of ₹ 78, 84, 730/- (Rupees Seventy-eight Lakhs Eighty-four Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty) to the Hon’ble Chief Minister Sri PS Tamang at Samman Bhawan. Present during the cheque presentation was the Additional Chief Secretary (Education Department) Sri GP Upadhyaya, Director (Samagra Shiksha and Primary Education) Sri Bhim Thatal and Additional Director (Finance and Accounts, Education) Sri BB Subba.

The contributed amount includes basic pay of one day of the employees of the Education Department collected on the basis of their voluntary contribution towards the CMRF to support the government in fighting against the COVID-19. This amount would have been even much higher but the fact is that many schools, Block Administrative Centres and individuals have contributed directly to the CMO through their DCs, SDMs, BDOs or through respective associations and unions.