Gangtok, Jan 30: (IPR) Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Mr. K.J. Alphons, inaugurated the Swadesh Darshan Project at Zero Point today. Present with him for the inaugural were the Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Sikkim, Mr. Ugen .T. Gyatso, Hon’ble Minister for Human Resource Development Department, Mr. R.B Subba, Chief Administrator, Mrs. R. Ongmu, Chief Secretary, Mr. A.K Shrivastava, Mayor (GMC), Mr. Shakti Singh Choudhary, Deputy Mayor (GMC), Mrs. LasheyDomaBhutia, heads and officials of various departments and engineers from the Tourism & Civil Aviation Department.

Along with the Minister of State (IC), were Assistant Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Mrs Bharati Sharma and Regional Director (North East), Mr. S.S. Dev Barman.

Secretary Tourism Department, Mr Tshering Thendup Bhutia welcomed the gathering and spoke about the birth and growth of the tourism sector in Sikkim. From infrastructural development to rural tourism and pilgrimage tourism, he stated that the sector has grown tremendously because of the stability of the State and the guidance and support from the State Government. He informed that Rs. 95.32 crore had been sanctioned for the SDP-I under which, the Tourist Interpretation Centre cum Live Demonstration of Handicraft and Handloom was inaugurated today. SDP-II is on-going and has been sanctioned for an amount of Rs. 98.06 crore while a proposal for SDP-III has been made for an amount of Rs. 99.98 crore.

Mr. K.J Alphons addressed the gathering, expressing his happiness in being able to visit the State. He praised Sikkim for the development and growth and most of all for the hospitality and security. He appreciated the efforts and work of the State Government and applauded the State on maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, communal harmony and efficient administration. He also spoke on the commendable growth of rural areas in Sikkim and said that the State was one of the firsts and a leading example in creating tourist spots and activities in all corners, thereby dispersing destination resulting in a pragmatic progress. He cited examples of home-stays and wellness tourism and also encouraged further development of trekking trails so that the people can experience Nature as close as possible. He asked the Forest and Tourism sector to work together in protecting nature but also to be able to let the people into these areas so as to have a sense of belonging and ownership.

He reminded the people that capitalizing hospitality is essential and the potential to do so is immense. He spoke on the importance of equity in terms of employment and said that hospitality generates jobs, resulting in welfare and progress. “It is not the business of the Government to run the business,” he said, stressing on the role of the private sectors and stakeholders. He talked about universal philosophies leading to overall growth and remarked that Tourism must be transformative.

He concluded his address by praising the State Government for being clairvoyant and making progress in extraordinary measures, like the new multispecialty hospital. “Sikkim is the best State in the North-East region,” he said, referring to development, security and stability. He thanked the Department for hosting him and reminded the people that the way to move ahead was through dignity in life and asked them to be respectful and subservient towards each other, especially towards the under privileged.

Special Secretary, Tourism, Ms. NamrataThapa delivered the vote of thanks and expressed her gratitude to Mr. K.J Alphons for his time and presence as well as to the State Government for the development of the tourism sector and the constant support and guidance of the Chief Minister. She thanked the department and everyone present for coming together in making the inaugural program a success.

The Tourism Interpretation Centre cum Live Demonstration of Handicraft and Handloom is located inside the premise of the Directorate of Handicraft and Handloom at Zero Point. It is a five-storeyed structure that consists of two blocks. Block A has 21 stalls with 3 basements; ground floor with an area of 4392 sq.ft. and first floor with an area of 651sft. Block B consists of 7 stalls with 2 basements and an open terrace, covering an area of 1005 sq.ft. The project was started on the 29th of March 2016 and was completed on 24th of November 2018. The total cost of the project is Rs. 439.43 lakh.

Martyrs’ Day observed at Tashiling

Gangtok, Jan 30: (IPR) Martyrs’ Day was observed today in Tashiling Secretariat, Gangtok. Additional Chief Secretary Finance cum Development Commissioner Shri V.B. Pathak administered two-minutes silence to all officers and staff of the Secretariat and adjoining offices.
Likewise, Martyrs’ Day was observed throughout the State with two minutes’ silence in the memory of those who gave their lives in the struggle for India’s freedom.
All work and movement including the traffic stopped exactly from 11 am to 11:02 am throughout the State. The day was observed with due solemnity.

Training of PHC Medical Officers on Substance abuse disorder, Suicide Prevention and other Mental Health Problems

Gangtok, Jan 30: (IPR) Three days training on Mental Health was conducted by the Health Care, HS & FW department for Medical Officers at European Commission Hall, STNM Hospital from 28th to 30th January 2019.

The objective of the training is to strengthen the primary care services on mental health. The PHC Medical Officers were trained in various topic of mental illnesses including assessing and managing the mental health related problems at the PHC level.

The Resource Persons for the training were Dr. C. S. Sharma , HOD Psychiatry Dept. STNM Hospital along with other Senior Psychiatrists – Dr. Netra Thapa, Dr. Geeta Gurung , Dr. Satish Rasaily, Clinical Psychologist of STNM Hospital, Dr. Sonam Lasopa and Dr. Rinzing Lhamu, Addl. Director, NCD.

The health department in partnership with NIMHANS is conducting an integrated programme to address the problems of substance abuse and suicide in Sikkim and Dr. C. Naveen Kumar, Additional Professor of Psychiatry was here in Gangtok as one of the resource persons from the nodal institute of mental health in the country—The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. During his visit to Sikkim he had a detail discussion with the Commissioner cum Secretary and the doctors on the delivery of the Suicidal Behavior Prevention Action Network (SPAN) Project.

National Girl Child Day

Mangan, 24th January(IPR): The National Girl Child Day (NGCD) was celebrated in a grand manner at the Community Hall in Mangan under the Beti Bacho Beti Padhao scheme. The Honourable Adhakshya North Smt Namdey Lepcha graced the occasion as the chief guest. The District Collector North Shri Karma R Bonpo, Sr SP North Shir K Shandarpa, JD HRDD, CDPOs, Principals of various schools, Agandwadi workers and ASHA workers also attended the function.
The National Girl Child Day (NGCD) is celebrated to increase the awareness among the people about the inequalities faced by the girl child in the society. This theme for this year is “Empowering Girls for Better Tomorrow” and under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme, many awareness drives have been launched to raise awareness on gender equality and empowerment of the girl child.
Speaking on the occasion, the Honourable Adhakshya North stated that the best way to empower a girl child is to provide quality education to her. She urged all the school heads and the HRDD department to work towards providing quality education in district and make the education imparted in government schools at par with the public schools in the district. She also stated that under the leadership of the Honourable Chief Minister, women have been significantly empowered and today more than 50 percent of the panchayats are women. The women of the state have marched hand in hand with their male counterparts and have excelled in various fields. She urged the Aganwadi workers to work dedicatedly in provide quality services to the young children and ensure a healthy feature for the children.
The District Collector North stated that various awareness drive have been undertaken under the scheme for empowering the girl child. The focus of the District Task Force has now been on the improving the quality of education in the district. The District Collector stated that initiatives to improve the libraries in all government schools have been undertaken. Grants have been given for the purchase of books to all the senior secondary schools, Junior High schools and primary schools in the district. The District Collector said that most of the ICDS centers in the district are being upgraded and two model ICDS centers are on the verge of the completion. These ICDS center will be the state of the art centers and among the best in the country.
An awareness drive on PC&PNDT Act was provided by DRCHO North and District Child Protection Officers provided awareness on POSCO Act. A colorful cultural programme was also presented by the Aganwadi works and the cultural troupe from Lachen. The District Task Force BBBP provided grants of Rs 10000 to 10 primary schools, Rs 15000 to 10 Junior High Schools and Rs 20000 to 5 Secondary schools for their stupendous academic performance in the education of the girl child. The Baby box under BBBP consisting of all essential items like blankets, clothes, nappies etc were also provided to newly born child children in the district by the Chief Guest.

Shri. P. D. Rai, Hon’ble MP Lok Sabha visits Gyalshing, West Sikkim.

Gyalshing, 24th January, 2019 (IPR): Shri. P. D. Rai, Hon’ble M. P. (Lok Sabha) visited the District Hospital to assess the progress and the state of the health facilities available at the District Hospital Gyalshing. Shri. P. D. Rai along with the District Collector Dr. A. B. Karki; CMO West Shri. T. Namgyal and other officials inspected the District Hospital in a thorough manner.

During his visit he interacted with the patients and Medical staffs whilst checking the various facilities as mentioned by the Chief Medical Officer. He then mentioned that his surprise visit to the District Hospital was to see the ground reality of the treatment given to patients and the various medical tests available for the public. He mentioned that the state has always given priority to Health and Education hence the visit was necessary. The Hon’ble M. P. took assessment of the existing facilities which are as per the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) Norms. After the thorough assessments of the District Hospital he stated that a significant improvement has been made by the Department of Health while keeping West District on priority. Lastly, he expressed his satisfaction on the available infrastructure, manpower and equipment in the District Hospital Gyalshing.

The MP later visited the 8th Mile area of Gyalshing to inspect the recently constructed water distribution chamber for the public of 8th Mile.

The MP also interacted with the local public of 8th Mile area whilst handing over the drinking water connection order to them in the presence of DC West, Chairman (GMC), DE (PHE) and the local gentry.

The Water distribution chamber funded by the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (M.P.L.A.D.S.) is all set to cater to the needs of around 70 households.

The Chief Minister attended the 5th Janta Mela at Mangley

Yangang, 24th January(IPR): The Chief Minister Mr. Pawan Chamling attended the 5th Janta Mela at Mangley/Sinchuthang today. This Janta Mela is being organized for 09 Barfung, 14 Temi- Namphing, 15 Yangang-Rangang and 16 Tumin -Lingi constituencies. Also present amongst others were SLA Speaker Mr. K.N.Rai, Cabinet Ministers alongside Chairmans, Advisors, Officials, Panchayats and public at large.

At, the onset of the mela the Chief Minister also distributed various tokens to the selected beneficiaries.

Addressing, the gathering the Chief Minister expressed his delight on attending this janta mela at Mangley as this place is near Yangang which is also his birthplace. He spoke in brief about the aims and objectives of this mela which focuses on disbursement of benefits under the various State Government departments to the masses. The CM spoke about the objective in holding of Janta Mela at this particular place for the sole reason to uplift the village and bring it at par with that of other developed places in the state. He also highlighted how the State Government has set up the headquarters of IRBn in the area thereby bringing about immense progression in terms of investment. The CM said that it is because of the consistent efforts from the State Government to elevate the lives of the general public this type of Janta Mela has been organized and further added that Janta Mela is one of the distinct concept which has been formulated by the State Government for the advantage of the State and its citizens.

The Chief Minister informed that a total of 182 families of Temi Tea Estate will receive house allotment sanction order today. Additionally, the CM emphasized the present and the former panchayats to be efficient and keep a vigil on the distribution of various benefits so that transparency can be maintained and that each and everyone can receive the benefits meant for them.

Speaking about the health scenario which the State Government has constantly upgraded the Chief Minister spoke about the newly inaugurated 1000-bedded Multi-Speciality Hospital at Sochyagang, Sichey which will be functional from 1st Feburary onwards and also will be named as New STNM Multi speciality hospital. The hospital includes all the necessary modern state of art equipment and provides services with a total number of 8 buses which will ply from SNT stand to the hospital during all days. Additionally, the CM said that a yatri niwas has also been established wherein free food and lodging for persons accompanying patients will be provided. Moreover, treatment for the Sikkimese citizens will be free of charge including that of dialysis and cancer treatment.

The CM also articulated since Sikkim is known as a renowned Organic State he updated that Organic shops has been provided to the progressive farmers practising organic farming. With regards to this the Chief Minister encouraged the youths to adopt Organic Farming, he also spoke in detail about the disadvantages of keeping the farm barren and vigorously promoted to cultivate these farms.

The Chief Minister also spelled out the various kind of development brought about in Yangang such as extension of road connectivity, building of Sikkim University which will assist the locals of Yangang to gain profit, boost the tourism.

He also enumerated the various noble concepts that the State Government has designed in the field of education, tourism, rural development, health and many more. He encouraged the public to be aware and utilize these schemes to it’s optimum level. The CM also updated that correction will be made at the earliest with regards to the discrepancy made between the qualifications and the post provided to the candidates during the recently concluded Rojgar Mela.

During the course of this mela the Temi Tea Estate workers felicitated the Chief Minister for his unwavering efforts in upliftment of the State. The mela also saw distribution of benefits by various departments which included CMRHM house allotment, GCI Sheets, LPG Connections, Torch Light, Water Filter, laptops, desktops and various other welfare services.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week

Mangan, 21st January 19 (IPR): The “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week” – Empowering Girls for a Better Tomorrow is being celebrated in North Sikkim from 21st January to 26th January 2019. The event is being coordinated by the District Collector North who is the chairperson of the District Task Force.
Today, three awareness and sensitization meeting was held at Susa kurtok Organic Festival and Singhik ICDS center. The public were sensitized on gender equality , health and hygiene management and POSCO Act. The Aganwadi workers undertook a door to door sensitization campaign in their respective areas to provide wide awareness on the scheme. BBBP stickers were pasted on PHSCs, schools and vehicles to provide wide awareness on the scheme. The BBBP scheme is currently being implementing in 405 district of the country to creating an enabling environment for girls and promotion of gender equality.
The District Collector informed that as per the directions of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, GOI various activities will be performed throughout the district. The National Girl Child Day will be celebrated on 24th January in the district where the best performing schools in academics of girls in the district will be felicitated.

Gram Swaraj Abhiyan for 2019 popularly known as Janata Mela

Mangan, 20thJanuary (IPR): The Gram Swaraj Abhiyan for 2019 popularly known as Janata Mela which took off from Gangtok East District on 16th January was held today at Mangan. The Honourable Chief Minister graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and was accompanied by his Cabinet Colleagues, Chairpersons, MP Rajya Sabha , Advisors, and Secretaries of various departments, Panchayats and officers from the district.

The Honourable Chief Minister was warmly welcomed, amidst cheers by the colossal gathering of public from the three constituencies of North District at Mangan Public Ground. While addressing the gathering he stated that the objectives of the landmark Janata Mela which besides reaching basic welfare needs to the people is also to understand the problems and development issues of the citizens. The Janata Mela also provides a platform for the citizens to be in direct touch with the Chief Minister and place their demands and grievances. It is also to inform and make aware the citizens about the policies and schemes of the government so that they can assert their rights. The Janata Mela also ensures that government schemes are being distributed in a transparent and open way in the presence of the community. He said that Janata Mela was being conducted every year bringing welfare benefits to the doorstep of the common man. This year 1000 crores worth of benefits are being distributed both in cash and kind to the people of Sikkim. He hoped that North District would be kutcha house free by the additional allotment of CMRHM Phase II House in this year’s Janata Mela.

The Honourable Chief Minister handed down tokens of benefits which were both in cash and kind. The beneficiaries were at the receiving end of forty different kinds of items ranging from LPG Gas ,Electric Cooker, Pressure Cooker, Desk top Computers , Laptops for students and SHG, Community vermi -compost bins ,Buffet Sets, Water Filters, Incentives under CM Start up schemes and sanction letter from SBS, Genap Tanks, Power Tillers,1000 liters HDP tank, Fabricated Green house, CMRHM Phase II ,House up-gradation worth Rs. 50000/-, GCI sheets, Milch Cows, Heifers , Buffalo, Piglets, Goats etc. The Community Investment funds of Rs 3 lakhs were also disbursed. The schemes from Culture Department like Samajik Sewa Bhatta to bongthings and sound systems to various local clubs of the district were also disbursed. The deserving students at various levels were also benefited with scholarships. Token incentives of Rs 7000/- was handed down to beneficiaries under Proud Mother Scheme. Grants in Aid from Ecclesiastical department to several religious institutions were also handed down. Cash of Rs 3 lakhs for entry point activity to several JFMC under Forest Departments were also disbursed. The Honourable Chief Minister also stated all the demands made during the 32 days tour has been sanctioned and the orders will be distributed soon. Ms Chumki Doma Bhutia was awarded as the Best Aganwadi worker with cash prize of one lakh.

The Honourable Chief Minister while addressing the gathering stated that the present government during its tenure of 24 years has ensured that all the needs of the Sikkimese people are fulfilled and peace and security of the State ensured. He said that it is now the responsibility of the people to make the right choices and choose the leader which has a good track record and is time tested and proven. The future of the State now lies in the choices which will be made by the people and they should not destroy Sikkim by choosing wrong leaders.

He also highlighted some of the achievement of the Government. He said the newly inaugurated 1002 bedded hospital at Sokaythang will have all kinds of treatment, surgery, dialysis provided free of cost. There are eight buses plying from Gangtok to the Sokaythang providing free transport facilities to the patients. He said the state of the art diagnostic machines have been procured and all world class medical facilities will be provided in the hospital. He also said that a medical college is being constructed which will provided free medical courses to the local students. The Rozgar Mela was organized where 12000 people have been provided employment all in one day and recently 1046 IRB jawans have been inducted. He said that the second phase of Rozgar Mela will be conducted within first week of February for left out and deserving candidates. He said that the basic minimum needs like water supply, 100 units of electricity is being provided free of cost. Earlier less than 50 percent houses were electrified now the Government has achieved 100 percent electrification. He said that the Government has a policy to ensure that every village is connected by rural roads and remaining roads have been sanctioned, old roads widened and metaled and bridges strengthened. The Chief Minister also stated that sanctity of Dzongu region has been maintained by the present government and he has ensured that the region is being led by a person belonging to Dzongu and there is no outside interference.

The Honourable Chief Minister shared his vision of Sikkim which is self reliant and self sufficient with empowered citizens. Apart from Government jobs the State Government has also given opportunities for entrepreneurship development. He appealed to youth to venture into activities that are natural resource based and is eco friendly. He said that landmark schemes will be undertaken in North Sikkim like the Munsoling statue in Dzongu with a research centre. The people should understand and appreciate the good work done by the government and respect the policy, ideology and principle of the government that has made Sikkim to be recognized at national and global level.
On the occasion the Honourable Chief Minister was felicitated by Malling SHG, Mangan Nagar Panchayat and Panchayats and Public of Dzongu. The public of Dzongu offered their sincere gratitude for the historic declaration of Lepcha Indigenous Habitat through gazette notification and for promotion preservation and enrichment of Lepcha culture. The program ended with vote of thanks from ADC /Dev. Shri K.R Limboo.

Sensitization Programme on Voter Awareness for Ethnic Communities and NGOs working for person with disabilities

Gangtok, January 19: (IPR) A Sensitization Programme on Voter Awareness for Ethnic Communities and NGOs working for person with disabilities (PWDs) was organized by Chief Electoral Officer, Sikkim at the conference hall of Election Commission Office, Balwakhani, today.

The programme was chaired by Chief Electoral Officer Shri R.Telang.

The programme was organized mainly to give message and information regarding upcoming General Election and its process. While addressing the programme, CEO Shri R. Telang informed that such awareness programmes are being organized to aware the masses right up to the grassroots level. He highlighted on various issues related to electoral Voter List, National Voters Day, VVPAT and Voting process for Differently-Abled Persons (PWDs).

The CEO informed:

1. That Sikkim is going to launch Voter Helpline number 1950 on National Voters Day 25th January for the facilitation of voters in the State. For authentic information anyone can access and check their enrolment list, polling stations, EPIC number and other voter registration information through ECI Voter Helpline Number, Helpline App, Web portal – Election related grievances can also be solved online or with the use of digital platform.

2. About the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) and Electronic Voting Machines, its functioning, how it will be helpful for the different communities and differently abled person and facilities created for them.

3. This time Election Commission of India added the VVPAT Machine in Election Process which is a paper slip machines which will come out when a voter casts his\her vote. The slip will automatically drop in a sealed box attached to the EVM for use by the election commission. It can only be seen by the concerned voter. She/he can know that the vote, she/he cast went to the candidate or not.

4. That the National Voters Day will be celebrated on 25th January at Chintan Bhawan with a theme “Nobody to be Left Behind”. And requested everyone to participate and celebrate the process of Democracy.

5. About the facilities and special arrangements made for the Voters with differently-abled persons (PWDs) such as wheelchairs, Braille’s for blind and other useful equipment. Also free transportation will be provided only for PWDs and Senior Citizens during the voting hours. PWDs voter are allowed to be escorted while casting their votes and also Help Line Desk for the PWDs will be situated on the venue.

Honourable Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri Pawan Chamling today inaugurated the Cold Storage and Organic Farmers Market at Mangan

Mangan, 20th January (IPR) The Honourable Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri Pawan Chamling today inaugurated the Cold Storage and Organic Farmers Market at Mangan . The infrastructure consists of a modern cold storage unit which has the capacity to store 15 tons of vegetable maintaining a constant temperature. The infrastructure aims to provide marketing facilities for organic producers and Self help groups of North Sikkim and also provide storage of excess produce of cash crops like oranges ginger, tomato and other vegetables during surplus seasons and thereby fetching better market prices during lean season. The Honourable Chief Minister took a round of the market and also took time to ask the price of each vegetable item individually . The infrastructure was constructed by convergence of funds from MPLADS and Sikkim Organic Mission at a cost of Rs, 25 Lakhs . The Honourable Chief Minister informed that on 18th January which is observed as Sikkim Organic Day the Government has made a policy decision for three missions:
(a) To meet all the demands for organic produce and surplus production and sale outside the State
(b) All unproductive forest holdings should be converted into productive agro forestry within 5 years
(c) Self Sufficiency in Food grains .
He also said that the farmers of North Sikkim should be able to produce surplus dairy produce, vegetables and fruits and cater to the demands at Gangtok.
Before proceeding to attend the Janta Mela organized at Mangan Public ground, the Honorable Chief Minister also unveiled the plaque and formally inaugurated two important Health Infrastructure , the Trauma Center and the newly constructed Tuberculosis(TB) care unit at the District Hospital Mangan. The three storied TB hospital houses a total of 50 beds for patients with a separate pediatric ward, Male and Female ward, X ray room Gyena .ward with Labour room, Microbiologist/Pathologist room and an Investigation lab , Nurses station and Doctors Restrooms etc.
The Trauma Care facility has a built up area of 2760 sq ft and has several facilities like Emergency room, Main OT, Minor OT, ICU, Sterilization room, Doctors Examination room, Nurses Station and rest rooms for Doctors and Nurses. He also interacted with the patients and visited the pediatric ward. Thereafter he inspected the newly sanctioned 100 bedded District Hospital which is under construction and directed that there should be no compromise on the quality of construction.
The Honourable Chief Minister was accompanied by Minister for Health care Human Services and Family Welfare Deptt. Shri Arjun Kumar Ghatani , MP Shri Hissay Lachungpa, Deputy Speaker Shri Sonam Gyatso , Minister Forest and Environment Shri Tshering Wangdi Lepcha , Area MLA Shri Ugen Nedup Bhutia, Commissioners and Secretaries of several Departments, District Collector, CMO, Doctors, Nurses and other Officials .