Press Release from Health & Family Welfare Department

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and John Snow India, supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) co-hosted the National Conclave on COVID-19 vaccination themed “Power of the Collective” on January 31, 2023, at New Delhi in partnership with Global Health Strategies. The aim of the conclave was to center-stage critical learnings and best practices surrounding COVID-19 vaccinations over the course of the last two years in the country, the documentation and dissemination of which could be learnings for future emergencies.

The day-long event scheduled from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM included a display of best practices and a photo exhibition to document the innovative interventions of the MoHFW and state health departments which were deployed to achieve high COVID-19 vaccination coverage. The conclave comprised of four panel discussions with senior leadership from MoHFW, WHO, USAID, GAVI, partner organizations, and state representatives sharing insights on diverse topics related to COVID-19
vaccination.

MD NHM Dr Raj Prabha Moktan along with SIO Dr Tsering Doma participated in the Conclave. SIOs of all the states along with Covid warriors were also felicitated. Mrs Athee Lepcha LHV of Phodong PHC from Mangan district received the appreciation letter as the Covid warrior from Sikkim.

HCM lays the foundation stone of Sherpa Bhawan at Lumsey

Gangtok,February 1st, 2023(IPR): Shri Prem Singh Tamang, Chief Minister of Sikkim, laid the foundation stone of Sherpa Bhawan at Lumsey, Tadong, Gangtok.

Shri Sonam Lama, Minister Ecclesiastical Department, Shri M.N.Sherpa, Minister Power Department, Shri B.S.Pant, Minister, Tourism Department, Area MLA, Shri G.T Dhungel, Political Secretary to CMO, Press Secretary to CMO, Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Gangtok, Zilla Adakshya, UPA Adakshya (Gangtok), Panchayats,Shri G.M Gurung, former Minister, HODs of different departments, Shri Tenzing L. Bhutia, SP Gangtok, SDM, Gangtok, Advisors, Chairpersons, dignitaries, representatives of various associations and members of Denzong Sherpa Association were present at the function.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Prem Singh Tamang welcomed all the dignitaries and the large public from different corners of the State. He said he is fortunate to be a part of the foundation stone laying ceremony of Sherpa Bhawan. He remarked that it is the love and trust of the people that gives him strength and energy to work for the people and the welfare of the State. The new Bhawan would be built at an estimated cost of approximately six crores, sixty-two lakhs within twenty-four months, said the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister briefed about the Nar Bahadur Bhandari Fellowship Scheme in honour of the former Chief Minister that aims to provide the opportunity for Sikkim’s brightest and most promising students to pursue higher studies in the top 20 Universities of the world. This scheme aims to give exposure to Sikkimese students among the finest educators in the world.

He also informed about the APATAN scheme, which provides aid and support for scholars who opt for Ph.D. and research in areas related to any language used in the State. The Chief Minister further informed about the Arya Pratibha Vikas scheme, which provides support and guidance for those aspirants who plan to take the elite Union & State Government Services, and urged students to take benefit of such schemes.

Similarly, Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang also mentioned the upcoming G20 Summit and said that around 200 educated youth would be allowed to volunteer their service in different management capacities during G20 events, soon to be held in the State. He noted that these volunteers would present themselves wearing their traditional dress to reflect the diverse traditional culture of the State.

While addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister reminded that Sikkim has always been a State with a diverse mix of cultures and traditions of different religions and languages. He added that language is an essential component of individual identity, which we must always cherish and preserve.

The Chief Minister also expressed his deep concern about the mention of the Sikkimese Nepali Community as foreigners in the recent Supreme court Verdict and asserted that the remark is in the observation part and not in the judgment part of the verdict. In this regard, he assured that the State Government would put all efforts for expunging the said remarks. The Chief Minister said that the state government has already initiated steps for filing the review petition for addressing the concerns of the Sikkimese Nepali community.

The ritual religious ceremony of the foundation stone was performed by H.E. the Khen Rinpoche Dawa Gyaltshen Sherpa. The Sherpa Bhawan will be five and a half-storey integrated multipurpose building covering an area of 18945sq.ft and with a ground coverage of 3563 sq. ft.

During the programme, the Denzong Sherpa Association Cultural Wing performed cultural songs and dances. Similarly, the Cultural Group from Lamhatta, Darjeeling, showcased a beautiful cultural dance during the programme.

Shri G. T Dhungel, Area MLA congratulated the Sherpa Community and thanked the Chief Minister for his initiative of providing Sherpa Bhawan. He said that he would always work in tandem with the people and the Government and make sure that the public from the constituency he represents will always avail of benefits provided by the Government.

Likewise, Shri M.N.Sherpa, in his short address, said that the new Sherpa Bhawan is strategically located and will serve the people well. He also recounted all his struggles during his political career for being a lone representative of the Sherpa Community.

Shri Sangay Sherpa, Chief Patron of Denzong Sherpa Association, expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister the for his constant encouragement and support to the Sherpa Community.

A token of appreciation was also presented to the Chief Minister, Shri Prem Singh Tamang, from the Denzong Sherpa Association.

Earlier, Shri Dorjee Sherpa Pinasa, President of the Denzong Sherpa Association, gave a brief report on the Sherpa community in his welcome speech.

The programme concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by the Secretary, UDD. Shri M.T.Sherpa, who is also the Advisor to Denzong Sherpa Association.

Workshop on Conservation of Material Heritage of Sikkim

Gangtok, February 1st (IPR): The ten-day workshop on ‘Conservation of Material Heritage of Sikkim’ hosted by Sikkim State Archives and Museum, Culture Department, Government of Sikkim in collaboration with Kolkata Institute of Art Conservation supported under the AKST- Tata Trusts Art Conservation Initiative was inaugurated at Manan Bhawan in Gangtok today.

The Conservation workshop is designed to impart awareness and conservation-related training to custodians of heritage collections in Sikkim, as well as stakeholders in the field of cultural heritage and conservation, supported under the Anamika Kala Sangam Trust (AKST)- Tata Trusts Art Conservation Initiative, to be held from February 1-10 here in the capital.

The inaugural event was chaired by Secretary Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Shri Pema Wangyal Rinzing as the chief guest and Secretary Ecclesiastical Department Dr. Passang Dorjee Phempu as the guest of honour.

The workshop also had the presence of the Head, Arts and Culture portfolio, Tata Trusts, Ms. Deepika Sorabjee, Senior Art Conservator and Academic consultant to the Tata Trusts Art Conservation Initiative, Mr. Anupam Sah, Art Conservator at Himalayan Society for Heritage and Art Conservation( HIMSHACO), Nainital, Mr. Siddharth Chandra, Art Conservator at Kolkata Institute of Art Conservation, Kolkata, Mr. Shreyan Banarjee, Programme Officer, Arts and Culture portfolio, Tata Trusts, Ms. Paroma Sadhana along with monks from different monasteries and esteemed dignitaries.

Addressing the gathering, the Head of Arts and Culture, Tata Trusts, Ms. Deepika Sorabjee, gave a brief overview of the Art Conservation Initiative. The workshop at Gangtok intends to reach out and set up the system for future reference and the maintenance of artefacts. She also discussed about the long-term vision of the programme.

Senior Art Conservator and Academic Consultant to the Tata Trusts, Mr. Anupam Sah, in his special address, mentioned the importance and the need for the conservation of cultural heritage and different tools that have been used over the past years to achieve the materials for future reference. Furthermore, he mentioned about the conservation infrastructure, its processes, and the long-term protection of the cultural heritage of Sikkim. He added that the training programme is crucial for trainees working to enhance archive materials.

Anamika Kala Sangam Trust (AKST) Tata Trusts Art Conservation Initiative was established in 1986. The multi-disciplinary exchange in this initiative encourages participation in cultural activities, creativity, and the arts. AKST has recently established the Kolkata Institute of Art Conservation at Kolkata centre for creativity.

Secretary Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Shri Pema Wangyal Rinzing, in his address, appreciated the initiative for organising the workshop to help preserve the cultural heritage of Sikkim. He mentioned the challenges of conserving the tangible and the intangible heritage. Further, he informed that the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology was established in the 1960s, and their art collection is still intact.

Earlier, the Archives Officer Sikkim State Archives and Museum, Cultural Department, Ms. Deepshika Gurung, delivered the welcome address.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Research Officer Ms. Yangchen Donkar Bhutia.

Training program on Forest Right act 2006

Namchi, 1st February: One day long training program on Forest Right act 2006 concluded on 31/01/2023. The training was organised by District Administration Namchi and attended by Namchi District Gram panchayat members including 54GPUs presidents and Vice presidents, panchayat inspectors of BDOs office and other field staff.

ADC Namchi cum State level Master trainer, Shri Anant Jain briefed about the provisions of FRA act and discussed the role of Gram Sabha , Subdivisions level and District level Functionaries. During the day long program, following important points were addressed :

1. Formation of Forest Right Committee at Gram Sabha level
2. Filling of claim forms
3. Quorum of Gram Sabha
4. Passing of resolution
5. Eligibility of claimants
6. Inspection process
7. Processing of claims including role of Subdivision and District level committee

In the end, during Question and answer session GPU members discussed various issues pertaining to Namchi district in which FRA act is applicable and same was addressed and explained in length.

Farewell to the retired Secretaries of various departments

Gangtok, 31st January 2023(IPR): The retired Secretaries of various departments under the State Government were accorded a warm farewell on their superannuation at a function held in the conference hall of Tashiling, Secretariat, today.

Chief Secretary of the State, Shri V.B.Pathak graced the occasion to bid farewell to the esteemed retired officials in the presence of the Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, Shri A Sudhakar Rao, Shri R Telang, Additional Chief Secretary, Education Department, Secretaries and officials of different departments.

The Chief Secretary applauded the retired Secretaries for their outstanding and remarkable service and expressed gratitude on behalf of the government for putting their brilliant effort into transforming the State. He wished all the dignitaries with a healthy life and stated that all the remaining members present in the house must take forward the tales of experience left behind by those emeritus officials.

A brief curriculum vitae of their career journey was presented before the house. The dignitaries were honoured with khada, souvenirs and gifts by the Chief Secretary and all the officials present during the occasion.

The retired dignitaries shared their experiences and few brilliant anecdotes to add some lighter moments of their long-serving tenure for the State in different departments.
The dignitaries thanked the Chief Secretary and officials for organising the farewell event.

Shri Tshering Namgyal Bhutia, Shri H.K. Sharma, Smt Sherap Shenga, Shri K.P. Sharma, Shri D.C.Nepal and Smt Siphora Targen were the superannuated dignitaries who had served the State with their impeccable service.

HCM meets the public of Dzongu Constituency

Mangan, January 31 st(IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang met with the public of Dzongu Constituency at Forest Guest House, Namprikdang, Dzongu for the second phase of “Governance at the Doorstep”

Chief Minister, addressing the gathering, briefed the public regarding the meeting being conducted to have immediate correspondence with the citizens to understand their grievances and address their issues.

The meeting witnessed large amount of public gathering from the Dzongu Constituency, wherein orderly manner was maintained to provide a stage for public to voice their concerns. The public of following GPU were present for the meeting today :
1. Hee- Gyathang GPU
2. Lingthem- Lingdem GPU
3. Passingdang and Nom Panang Ward
4. Lingdong Barfok GPU
5. Tingchim Chadey GPU
6. Two MNP wards under Dzongu Constituency (Pentok and Power Colony ward).

HCM Shri P. S. Tamang also provided medical assistance and government services to those in need during the interaction cum meeting.

The meeting also had the presence of Minister Roads and Bridges, Shri Samdup Lepcha, MLA Dzongu Shri Pintso Namgyal Lepcha, Chairmans’ , Zilla Adakshya Mangan, Zilla Up- Adakshya Mangan, Secretaries , D.C Managn, A.D.M Managn, ADC (Dev) Mangan, ADC (Dev) Chungthang, SDMs, BDOs, Officers & Officials, Councillors and Panchayats.

A workshop on Financial Inclusion-Role of BLBC was organized at Soreng

Soreng, 31 January (IPR): A workshop on Financial Inclusion-Role of Block Level Bankers Committee (BLBC) was organized at the Conference Hall of DAC, Soreng today.

Organized by the Reserve Bank of India (Gangtok), the workshop cum meeting had the attendance of DC Soreng, Shri Bhim Thatal, ADC Soreng, Shri Dhiraj Subedi, , ADC (Dev), Shri Gaayas Pega, Chief General Manager (RBI), Shri Kishore Pariyar, SDM (HQ), Shri D.R Bista, Manager (RBI/Gangtok) cum Lead District Officer for Soreng, Shri Rahul Verma along with the BDOs and other line department Officers.

CGM (RBI), Shri Kishore Pariyar gave an in-depth presentation with regard to the aims and objectives of the workshop which was to generate awareness about the financial inclusion and financial literacy and role of Block level Bankers Committee at the grassroot level including sensitization of BDOs. He informed that BLBC acts as a forum for coordination and joint implementation of development programmes and policies by all the financial institutions operating in a State at block level. He added that it is also responsibility of BLBC to discuss on operational issues in the implementation of credit programmes of banks. He urged the officials at the block level to ensure that each individual has access to banking and other financial services.

Furthermore, Shri Pariyar highlighted the importance of digitization of all financial transaction and services. He said that one of the main responsibilities of SLBC is to conduct surveys in the village falling in their service area taking into consideration the infrastructure and market potential of the area. Based on the survey findings, they must compile realistic plan for each bank branch operating in a block and thus, the district credit plan should be drawn up on the basis of updated village profile realistic projections, he added.

In his concluding remarks, he urged the stakeholders to conduct such surveys cum meetings at quarterly intervals in order to achieve positive and fruitful results.
DC, Shri Bhim Thatal also provided some insightful learnings and suggestions. He spoke about the importance of following basic attributes of Knowledge, Skill and Attitude in providing better services. He advised the BODs to ensure that the people at the grass root level are being governed adequately and are availing their rightful benefits. He reminded them to organize financial literacy programs or workshops in co-ordination with the financial institutes at their respective blocks to bring about more financial awareness amongst the community.

Furthermore, he urged them to conduct BLBC meeting on the required intervals to achieve timely conduct of District Level Bankers Committee followed by State Level Bankers Committee meeting as per the mandate of RBI.

Additionally, the DC appraised the necessity to improve the existing Kisan Credit Card Scheme (KCC) and said that focus must also be given to both farmers and banking sectors. He also highlighted some of the community specific schemes which are currently being implemented for Soreng as an aspirational district.

The interactive workshop concluded with an open house discussion on issues and doubts raised by the participants.

HCM graced the opening ceremony of Sikkim Premier League 2023

Gangtok, January 30 (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Prem Singh Tamang , and his spouse Smt Krishna Rai, graced the opening ceremony of Sikkim Premier League 2023 as the Chief Guest here at Paljor Stadium, Gangtok today.

The sporting event was organized by Football Development (P) Ltd under the aegis of Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Govt of Sikkim.

Co-founder, Football Development (P) Ltd, Shri Nirmal Chettri, in his welcome address expressed joy on the opening day of Sikkim Premier League and said that the concept of the League is to give birth to professional football which will inspire new generation of footballers in the State. In his brief speech, he also thanked everyone who supported the League leading to this special day.

At the commencement of the ceremony, Khadas, Mementos and Bouquets were presented to the Chief Guest and other Special Guests followed by cultural programme performed by local artists. It is to be mentioned that several hit melodious tunes in Hindi and Nepali were sung by local artists- UNB, Jetsen Dohna Lama, Rewash Gurung and Nepal’s iconic singer Raju Lama during the ceremony.Other honorary mention includes the theme song for Sikkim Premier League composed by Ms. Remanti Rai.

The ceremony also included the introduction of Franchise owners and captains who were felicitated through the hands of Hon’ble Chief Minister.

The eight teams which will participate in the maiden Sikkim Premier League 2023 are Aakraman SC (Gangtok), Brothers United FC (Gyalshing), Red Panda FC (Namchi), Roaring Leopard FC (Pakyong), Sikkim Dragons (Gangtok), Singling Sporting Club (Soreng), Siniolchu FC (Namchi) and Thunderbolt North United (Mangan). The matches will be played in Paljor Stadium (Gangtok) and Bhaichung Stadium (Namchi) from 30th January 2023 to April 4, 2023. The tournament format will include round robin format and the teams finishing top four will advance to the semi-finals.

The Chief Minister declared the start of Sikkim Premier League 2023 and kicked the ball towards the crowd to officially start the tournament before the Kick-Off.

The first match was a Gangtok derby played between FC Aakraman Sikkim United and Sikkim Dragons FC which was won by Aakraman SC with 2-1 scoreline. The next match will be played between Red Panda FC and Siniolchu FC on February 4 at Bhaichung Stadium, Namchi.

The event had the presence of Speaker SLA, Shri Arun Upreti, Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture & Cash crops, Animal Husbandry, Livestock fisheries & Veterinary services and Labour Department, Shri L.N. Sharma, Minister of Forest, Environment & Wildlife, Mines, Mineral & Geology and Science & technology, Shri Karma Loday Bhutia, Area MLA Gangtok, Shri Y.T. Lepcha,Secretary to HCM, Shri S.D. Dhakal,Political Secretary to HCM, Shri Jacob Khaling, Press Secretary to HCM, Shri Bikash Basnet, Chairmen, Advisors, HoDs of various line departments, DIGP Special Branch, Shri Prawin Gurung, SDGP Law and Order, Shri Akshay Sachdeva IPS, SFA President, Shri Menla Ethenpa, Deputy Mayor GMC, Ms. Tshering Palden Bhutia, Co-Founders and Board of Directors from Sikkim Development (P) Ltd., representatives of Teesta Urja Limited, concerned Govt officials from various line departments and the general public.

District Level Vigilance Committee conducts their first meeting

Pakyong, January 30 (IPR): “District Level Vigilance Committee (DLVC)” in compliance with the “Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (MS Act 2013)” was constituted, along with its first meeting was conducted today at the Office of the District Collector, Pakyong District under the Chairmanship of the DC, Pakyong Mr. Tashi Chophel.

The members of DLVC are as under:

1. District Collector, Pakyong-Chairperson,
2. Superintendent of Police-Member,
3. ADC Dev,Pakyong-Member,
4. CMO, Pakyong – Member,
5. MEO Rangpo-Member,
6. Bazar Officer, UDD – Member,
7. Branch Manager SBI Pakyong- Member,
8. Welfare Officer – Member Secretary

The Welfare Officer, Mrs Suneeta Dahal apprised the Acts and Rules and highlighted the important parts of the said Act.
She defined “manual scavenging” as the removal of human excrement from public streets and dry latrines, and cleaning septic tanks, gutters and sewers.

The aim of the government should be to mechanise such a process without the physical intervention of a human.

Further, it must be noted that forcing someone to do such activities will be a punishable offence along with a fine under the said act.
It was noted that such a practice is virtually non-existent in Sikkim and even if someone is involved in such activities they should be provided with proper safety gear and equipment.

The District Collector directed Welfare Inspectors to visit the bazaar area under Pakyong District and take surveillance of Community Toilets and Public toilets in the area and report the status.

ADC (Dev) said that he would sensitise all the panchayats and local bodies about the Act and work for the complete eradication of such practices in Sikkim.

District Collector Pakyong further suggested Member Secretary form a Sub-divisional level committee within 3 months before the first review meeting of DLVC.

Press Release from Sikkim Supreme

Press Release from
Sikkim Supreme,
Govt. Fruit Preservation Factory
In memory of Those Who Gave Their Lives in the Struggle for Freedom on Martyrs’ Day, 30th January.
Govt. Fruit Preservation Factory: Sikkim Supreme pays tribute to the brave souls who gave their lives in the Struggle for freedom on Martyrs’ Day, 30th January 2023.
To commemorate this day, all the staff and workers of Sikkim Supreme observed 2-minute silence in memory of all the fallen heroes, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of freedom and justice.
The observation reaffirms its commitment to inspiring people to come together and work towards building a better and just world.