Awareness program on use of EVM and VVPAT

Namchi, 14th January:An awareness program on use of EVM and VVPAT during the upcoming general election 2019 has been held in the DAC Namchi today as part of SVEEP program.

Enthusiastic voters mostly the senior citizen and the first time voters have participated in the hands- on practice of the EVM and VVPAT organised by the District Administration and the Election Cell, Namchi South Sikkim.

The demo centre set up as Polling station in this building is being manned by Joint Director and the Head Assistant of this office who shall follow the instruction of the Commission in taking out/storing the machine on a daily basis after the program.

Over 100 votes have been recorded today in the machine cast by the general public who visited this centre and all have expressed their happiness and satisfaction over the VVPAT machine being used by the Commission in the forthcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha election 2019.

Capacity building peer to peer learning workshop

Namchi, 11th January(IPR): A daylong capacity building peer to peer learning workshop review meeting of Smart Cities Mission of North East region was held at the conference hall of a local hotel today. The meeting was chaired by Secretary, Ministery of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoH&UA, GOI) Mr. Durga Shanker Mishra he was accompained by Ms. Jhanja Tripathy Jt Secretary & Financial Advisor (MoH&UA), Mr. Kunal Kumar Jt. Secreraty & Mission Director (SCM), Secretary UDHD (Govt. of Sikkim) Ms. Ganga D Pradhan, members from MoH&UA, smart city delegates from Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and representatives from HUDCO, Bharat Electronics Limited and Gran Thornton India LLP.

At, the onset of the workshop Mr. Mishra laid the foundation stone for developing of infrastructure facilities at the cremation ground of Aahley Gumpa which is under the smart cities mission. Then, the Secretary with the team took a brief tour of the Namchi town, the smart city mission office followed by various other location which will be developed under Namchi Smart City. The Secretary was also briefed by Namchi Smart City Limited (NSCL), Joint Chief Town Planner Mr. Navin Rai on the plans, proposal and strategy curated by NSCL to upgrade the various areas in and around Namchi. Thereafter, the Secretary and the team visited samdruptse and offered prayers to the statue of Guru Padmasambhava.

The Secretary, Mr. Durga Shanker Mishra addressed the gathering during the workshop where he spoke how Namchi was recently adjudged as one of the best town’s which has been performing extremely well under the Smart City Mission. He highlighted that under this Mission the selected towns should focus on infrastructure development which can in turn substantially elevate the living standard of the public. Mr. Mishra cited the example of Siddheshwara Dham in Namchi and how this pilgrimage destination has boosted the amount of tourist visiting the state bringing about range of investment value and underlined that projects like this dham needs to be build in other parts of the North Eastern states. He also emphasized that the North East is filled with unique natural resources and that it has an abundant space for qualatitive structural development and encouraged the attendees to utilize these resources. Mr. Mishra also appreciated the Organic Farming initiative of Sikkim and urged the gathering from other North Eastern state to commence on similar kind of unique initiatives. Additionally, Mr. Mishra lauded the
NSCL tie-up with South District Police Department and the development of the Mission Jyoti app which has a multi-platform access and aims to assist the police personals and the various stakeholders to reach out to the public and ensure quick and smooth service delivery.

Speaking ,during the workshop Secretary, Ms. Ganga Pradhan spoke about Namchi and how this small town is on the verge of transforming itself as one of the most sought after smart town in the North East region. She also brought to light the aims and objectives of the smart city and informed that community participation and public engagement is extremely significant for any smart city to evolve.

During, the course of the program the participating states also presentated a detailed presentation appraising about the status of smart cities in their respective states. Afterwhich, the Secretary Mr. Mishra provided feedback and valuable suggestion on these presentation. A video conference with other 100 smart cities was also conducted during the workshop.

State Level Training for Election preparedness to Electoral Registration Officers

Gangtok, Jan 11: (IPR) The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Sikkim conducted the State Level Training for Election preparedness to Electoral Registration Officers, Assembly Level Trainers, District Level Master Trainers and Supervisory Officers on 10th and 11th of January, 2019 in the Conference hall of the O/o the CEO, Sikkim.
The training was attended by a total of 95 Officers from all four districts. The training included sessions on key election subjects like Election Planning and Security Planning, Poll day arrangements, Model Code of Conduct, Paid news, Fake news, Media, Expenditure Monitoring and MCMC. The training was imparted by State Level Master Trainers, who have been trained at IIIDEM, Election Commission of India.

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.