Two-day residential Creative Arts Workshop for the children of Children’s Home of South District

Jorethang, 30th March (IPR): A two-day residential Creative Arts Workshop for the children of Children’s Home of South District organised by District Child Protection Unit (South), ICPS, SJE&WD in collaboration with SIRD and PR, RM&DD concluded at the conference hall of SIRD, Karfectar today.

Presiding over the program, DCPO (South) ICPS Ms.Roshnila Gurung highlighted the objective of the workshop as an exercise to stimulate children’s creativity to facilitate craftsmanship interests in the children, which she added will not just enhance their skills and talent but also provide an avenue for the children to earn a sustainable livelihood. She also stated that integration of arts and crafts into a child’s academics can prove to be therapeutic and can boost children’s problem solving abilities while also providing them recreation in between their conventional routine.

The workshop was conducted by Ms.Persis Rai who is a professional Arts & Crafts instructor at Green Dale Academy Gangtok and had also conducted a similar workshop for the children at Namchi previously.

It may be noted that 23 number of girls from all the Child Care Institutes registered under South District participated in this workshop. They were taught the art of paper quilling through which they made varied decorative designs such as greeting cards, earrings and quilled flowers among many things.

Orientation session for the team of ‘Swachhagrahis’

Gangtok, 28th March:(IPR) The Mission Directorate, Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), Rural Management & Development Department organised the orientation session for the team of ‘Swachhagrahis’ who have been selected to be deputed in Champaran, Bihar for the ensuing ‘Satyagraha Se Swachhagraha’ event.

The session was chaired by Shri Anil Raj Rai, Special Secretary cum Mission Director, SBM (Gramin) and was attended by the Deputy Secretary cum State Co-ordinator, SBM (Gramin). The Under Secretary, SBM (Gramin) Directorate made the presentation. The Mission Director congratulated the Swachhagrahis for the opportunity and asked them to ensure the success and reputation of the state in the field of sanitation is maintained and disseminated through their efforts in the event.

Sikkim has selected 10 Panchayat Development Assistants, RM&DD who function as Swachhagrahis for their respective GPUs and have done exemplary work in the field of sanitation. The team would be led by the Panchayat Inspector, Office of ADC (Dev.), Pakyong, RM&DD.

The event is being organised from the 3rd to 10th April, 2018 by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India in collaboration with the Government of Bihar to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha centenary. About 10,000 Swachhagrahis from across the country, along with another 10,000 Swachhagrahis from Bihar, will be participating in the event, where they will trigger rural communities from 3rd to 9th April, 2018 for better sanitation, health and hygiene outcomes. The event will culminate at Champaran on 10th April, 2018, where the Hon’ble Prime Minister will grace the occasion and address the Swachhagrahis.

A review meeting to discuss the Transformation Action Plan for West District

Gyalshing, 28th March, 2018 (IPR): A review meeting to discuss the Transformation Action Plan for West District was called by Chief Secretary at the Conference Hall, Manan Bhawan, Gangtok. In attendance were Secretary, Health department, Secretary LR & DMD, Secretary Planning Department, Secretary Agriculture & Horticulture, Director HRDD, J.D. (HRDD) West, Director Panchayat Raj, Additional Secretary, Skill Development, Welfare department & SDM Gyalshing.
Shri Kapil Meena, DC, West briefed the gathering about the directions given by NITI AAYOG to improve the indicators spanning Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Allied Areas, and Financial Inclusion & Skill Development & Basic Infrastructure. He outlined the various steps taken by District till now & also the help that would be required from various departments at state & Central Government level. He also requested all Secretaries to keep the West District on priority in all schemes under their purview .He informed that all line departments at district level have already started making interventions and focused activities to improve the indicators but there are some issues of timely fund release, giving autonomy to district in implementation and more priority to west district needs to be taken up by the higher authorities.
Shri. A. K. Shrivastava, Chief Secretary appreciated the diligently crafted action plan & has promised to extend all possible help from various departments, right from manpower shortage to fund constraints. Other Secretaries also agreed to provide all help that will be needed to make the action plan successful. The State Prabhari Officer for NITI AAYOG, Shri. Ravindra Telang emphasized on the need to strengthen the Office of District Collector with powers of incentivizing hardworking employees through writing their ACR’s against their efforts in making district action plan successful as well as taking action against recalcitrant employees.
A copy of action plan will be forwarded to all Secretaries for further suggestions and necessary action for its successful implementation. A mechanism of regular follow-up on action plan will also be established.

Workshop on television and documentary film production

Namchi, 28th March: ASP (South) Ms. Linda Palmo alongside SI Kunchok attended a workshop on television and documentary film production at the auditorium of Namchi Government College on 27th March respectively. The workshop organized by department of journalism and mass communication had the presence of Ms. Bina Pradhan principal Government College Tadong, Dr Guha, HoD Mass communication, representatives from SMU, Principal Loyala college and Principal ITI and various other dignitaries.

Addressing, the workshop ASP deliberated on the significance and proper use of mass communication in policing. Additionally, she also appealed the college students to give reports and updates on daily events happening in our society. The ASP updated that the students can make short documentary on types of policing and to be the reporters of police along with aiding for maintaining of law and order.

Smt Maneka Gandhi addressed a press

Gangtok, March 26: (IPR) Union Minister for Women & Child Development, Government of India, Smt Maneka Gandhi addressed a press conference this evening at Raj Bhawan.

Speaking to the media, the Minister informed that the Ministry under her charge is committed to provide all possible assistance to the State Government to strengthen and improve its Women and Child Care Institutions. When asked about her experiences from the field visit to various Centres today, the Minister informed that the most of the Centres are well maintained with requisite infrastructure and manpower but have still not been able to reach out to the desired target population. She specifically raised concern about the One Stop Crisis Centre at Lumsey which has seen only 59 reported cases in the last one year. She urged the media fraternity to help spread awareness and publicize this unique Centre so that more women in distress can come forward to avail the services available under one roof.

Speaking about her meeting with the State Chief Minister this morning, Smt Gandhi said that she requested the Chief Minister to offer the resources and help to convert the whole of India into an organic farming country. “I sought his help in this regard so that everybody benefits. I will be very happy if I get help to turn at least my constituency organic to start with,” she stated. Smt Gandhi added that she would go back and discuss with the Central Government to ask Sikkim’s technical support to impart training on Organic Farming to the rest of the States. Commending the State Government’s initiative to go fully Organic, the Minister stated that Sikkim is the only State in the country where Organic Farming is initiated by the State Government.

The Union Minister also lauded the environmental initiatives of the State Government such as ban on use of plastic, ban on grazing and felling trees, and poaching of wild animals. She also stated that the Orchids of the State have a unique identity and should be propagated and spread throughout the country. The youth should get into this field and more people should try greenhouse agriculture, she stated. The Government of India offers numerous incentives for Green House Agriculture and hence the youth of Sikkim should explore this area, she suggested.

Asked about her general observation about Sikkim, the Minister stated that she really liked the pristine beauty and cleanliness of the place. “The pedestrian walkway along M.G. Marg is such a good and happy idea, I wish we can implement this elsewhere,” she expressed.

When asked about the Ministry’s take on the alarming rise in human trafficking especially from the North Eastern States, the Minister replied that under her initiative, a Bill on Anti Trafficking has been introduced in the Parliament in the current Session. She added that the Bill in its present form is the best in the World and will give a huge respite to victims of trafficking, especially in terms of rehabilitating them.

The Minister also shared some of her personal interventions in the field of women and child development, care and protection namely Child Line, Khoya Paya, She-Box etc.

Replying to a query on the Government’s take on Rehabilitation of trafficked women who have been forced into prostitution, the Minister replied that activities like cooking, bakery etc which have been experimented in places like Pune, Maharashtra, have been successful to rehabilitate these women and given them an opportunity to pursue a sustainable livelihood. “If the State Government comes out with a scheme for rehabilitation of trafficked women, I will be more than happy to provide every assistance,” she stated.

On a question about the implementation of Six Months Maternity Leave Benefit to working women in Sikkim, the Minister stated that the State Government should immediately implement it. “I will speak to the Chief Minister about this and seek his intervention,” she stated.

EVM strong room established at the premises of DAC opened

Namchi, 19th March (IPR): An Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) strong room established at the premises of District Administration Centre (DAC) was opened today. The strong room has been opened as per the direction Of ECI for verification of EVM machines. Present during the process were DC (South) Mr. Raj Yadav, SP (South) Dr. Siva Prasad Yellasiri, (Under Secretary, Election) Ms. Tripti H. Subba, SDM (HQ) Mr. Sunil Mothey Officials from election departments and representatives from various political party.

The team inspected, physically verified the EVMs which has been kept in the strong room. It was also informed that authorized representatives shall be allowed to remain present at the time of opening and closure of the EVM strong room. Additionally, similar process will continue tomorrow for the authentication of the EVM machines followed which a report will be sent to CEO Sikkim and ECI as per the prescribed directions.

Two days workshop on “Spring-shed Management: integrating aquifers, watersheds and water security in mountains”

Gangtok, March 19: (IPR) Two days workshop on “Spring-shed Management: integrating aquifers, watersheds and water security in mountains” was organised on 16th and 17th March at Janta Bhawan Gangtok.

The workshop was jointly organised by RM&DD and ACWADAM Pune. Delegates from 22 organisations across the nation like Government of Nagaland, Department of Forest and Jal Sansthan (Govt. of Uttarakhand), ICIMOD (Nepal), UNDP, NABARD (Tripura), People Science Institute Dehradun, Chirag (Uttarakhand), Himmothan (Uttarakhand), Himalayan Seva Sangh (Hrisikesh), Key Stone Foundation (Tamil Nadu), Arghyam Trust (Bangalore), Gram Vikas (Orissa), Save the Hills and Prasari (West Bengal), Tata Trust, India Water Portal, PAST (Manipur), TMI India, WWF, ECOSS (Sikkim) were present in the workshop. The first day of the workshop was a field visit to Dhara Vikas Site at Perbing, South Sikkim where the state resource persons Dr Subash Dhakal and Mr Pem Norbu Sherpa explained to the participants how the science of hydro-geology was applied while executing Dhara Vikas project.

The second day was a classroom session at Janta Bhawan which was chaired by Additional Secretary, RM&DD, Sarika Pradhan. In her inaugural speech, Mrs Pradhan highlighted on the different initiative for water security taken under RM&DD such as preparation of habitation level Village Water Security Plan, Mapping of springs, Hydrogeological Modelling and intensive research in collaboration with CDAC Pune. She also mentioned that the Dharavikas initiative of the state has been appreciated by Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India. Dr Himansu Kulkarni and Jayesh Desai from ACWADAM, Dr Debashish Sen from PSI Dehradun, representative from Chirag Uttarakhand and Dr S. Dhakal and Pem Norbu from RM&DD gave their presentation. The presentations and discussions included the problem of spring depletion, approaches to understanding spring systems and partnerships through which the concept of springshed management is being implemented.

The second-day session was also attended by all the ADC (Development), Deputy Secretary, BDOs, Assistant Engineers, and officials from RM&DD. The programme ended with a panel discussion on Governance of spring water which was actively participated by representatives’ of different organisations present.

A daylong Awareness and Sensitization programme on Right to Information Act

Jorethang, 17th March (IPR): A daylong Awareness and Sensitization programme on Right to Information Act, 2005 organized by Administrative Training Institute (ATI), DOPART & Public Grievances and sponsored by Ministry of Personnel, PG & Pensions, DOPT, Government of India was held at Denchung Gram Sabha hall, Nandugoan today.
Present as the Chief Guest in the event was SDM Jorethang Mr. Bimal. C Rai alongside Director ATI Mr. Prabhakar Dewan, BDO Jorethang Prem. K. Rai, officials of line departments, staff of BDO office, school heads and panchayats of 35 Poklok Denchung GPU.

At the onset of the program, BDO Jorethang Prem. K. Rai welcomed the gathering and expounded the objective of the program to the participants present in the event.

The resource person on the occasion, Deputy Secretary Sikkim Information Commission Mr. Abinash Rai, gave a detailed PPT presentation on how RTI Act, 2005 is an Act of the Parliament which empowers every citizen to seek any information from the Government, inspect any Government documents and seek certified photocopies thereof. He underlined the significance of the Act which if effectively implemented, can bring in openness and transparency between public authorities and the public to help enhance informed citizenry and socio-economic development. The resource person also spelled out the objectives of RTI Act, 2005 and its main components while also discussing the means of filing an RTI application to any concerned authority. He further spoke about the DO’s and DONT’s, format and timelines involved while replying, transferring, issuing and appealing various notices under the ambit of RTI Act 2005. He also elaborated various instances whereby the public have sincerely and effectively used their new right given by constitution to get the information in correct form and right time.

The program also saw an interactive session between the resource person of the programme and the attendees.

It may be noted here that Sikkim Information Commission has been actively engaging in publicity and awareness generation on the Right to Information (RTI) Act among the public all over Sikkim.

A Bailey bridge over teesta river at Mantam was inaugurated

Dzongu, 14th March 2018 (IPR): A Bailey bridge over teesta river at Mantam was inaugurated today by the Honourable Deputy Speaker, Shri Sonam Gyatso Lepcha. The Secretary, Land Revenue & Disaster Management Department Shri Tshegyal Tashi, Special Secretary Shri Rinzing Chewang, District Collector North Shri Karma R Bonpo, SE (Road & Bridges), ADC North, ADC (Dev) North, SDM Dzongu, BDO Dzongu J.E Shri Netuk Lepcha were also present on the occasion.
The Bridge was constructed by District Administration North under the supervision of Roads and Bridges Deptt. It was designed and executed by the Engineers of Roads and Bridges Deptt North Sikkim . The Sliding Bailey Bridge over the River was constructed to restore vehicular connectivity to the eleven cut off wards of upper dzongu. The Landslide of Mantam had cut off all connectivity to these villages since August 2016 and finally today the vehicular connectivity has been restored.
The District Administration had earlier put a temporary bamboo bridge to restore immediate connectivity. Due to changing topography and geological formation due to the landslide and subsequent formation of the lake, the restoration of connectivity to the cut off villages was big challenge. Earlier connectivity through motor boats was also achieved. However due to sedimentation, the connectivity though boats became unfeasible. A temporary solution was worked through the bamboo bridge .The Bailey bridge inaugurated today would allow vehicular movement to the cut off villages .
Speaking on the occasion, the Honourable Deputy Speaker thanked all the officials involved in the projects specially the Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department and the Roads & Bridges Department. He stated that the State government was always sensitive to the suffering of the cut off villagers. He said that the tender process for the permanent bridge is under process and DPR of about 50 crores has been prepared. He expressed hope that the bridge would be constructed soon.
Secretary Land Revenue stated that the villagers of the cut off wards were very patient while the Government was working on various strategies to restore connectivity. He stated that State Government has always worked to alleviate the suffering of the villagers. He also instructed the District Administration to immediately use the connectivity to stock essential items on the other side for monsoons . He also stated that other department should use the connectivity to complete all ongoing works such as the completion of the REDRH and CMRHM houses in these wards.
The Sliding Bailey Bridge was constructed in record time of just under a month and will provide connectivity for at least for seven months in a year. In order to prevent the washing out of the bridge during the heavy monsoon, the bridges will be pulled over to the bank and launched after the monsoon again.

Legal Awareness and Health Camp

Press Release from District Legal Services Authority (South).

Ravangla, 12th March: District Legal Services Authority (South) and Taluk Legal Services Committee (South) in coordination with the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority organized a Legal Awareness Camp as well as a Health Camp in coordination with Namchi District Hospital & Central Referral Hospital Manipal, Gangtok at Ravangla Bazar, South Sikkim on 10/03/2018.

The purpose of the programme was targeted to spread awareness about welfare legislations and schemes, and strengthen the community’s access to the schemes being implemented by the Legal Services Authority and other Departments of the Government. The programme aimed at identifying and connecting people to welfare schemes to ensure that fruits of the welfare schemes are passed to the eligible people. The programme also looked upon understanding legal needs of the people and addressing legal problems of the people by giving appropriate legal advice.

The programme was launched by the Hon’ble Chairperson, DLSA (South) Ms. Jyoti Kharka in presence of the Secretary, DLSA (South) Mrs. Sonam Denka Wangdi, Ld. Panel Advocates, Block Development Officer (BAC Ravangla), Officers from Social Justice Empowerment and Welfare Department, Health Care, Human Services & Family Welfare Department, Central Referral Hospital Manipal, Gram Vikash Kendra Ravangla, Police Department, Zilla Panchayat and Panchayat President of Ravangla, GPU, Para-Lagal Volunteers and Anganwadi workers.

Information booths were setup by various Departments for the attendees and participants as under:
Legal Aid Clinics by Panel Advocates and Para-Legal Volunteers, Social Justice Empowerment and Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim (Welfare schemes), Rural Management Development Department, Childline and HIV-AIDS awareness booth by Dristi NGO, Health Care, Human Services & Family Welfare Department (Health camp for senior citizens), Police assistance booth by the Ravangla Police Station.

The attendees visited the booths and interacted with the officers and representative of the Departments present to address their problems and to procure appropriate advice and guidance. At the Health Camp there were doctors from orthopedics, ENT, Eye, Physiotherapy, Gynaecology, Pediatircs and Dental departments of CRH, Manipal, Gangtok. From Namchi District Hosiptal doctor from Medicine Department as well as a psychologist was present. Dr. Jyoti Gupta and Dr. Ranjan Gupta, Dentiests from Siliguri had also participated in the camp. Further documentaries on Lok Adalat, Mediation and Domestic Violence was also shown to the attendees