HCM launches Mero Rukh Mero Santati

Gangtok, Feb 02 (IPR): Sikkim will now be observing the first week of July as ‘Santati Saptah’ annually as a part of the new environmental initiative of the State government – ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati.’This was announced today during the launch of ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ by Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang at Manan Kendra in Gangtok.

‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ is a novel green initiative conceived by Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang that entails planting 100 saplings per child born in the State and will be a part of the annual calendar of events beginning this year. This initiative aims to strengthen and reinforce the connect between parents, children, and nature by planting trees to commemorate child birth while catering to the commitment of the State toward the conservation of the environment.

The ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ initiative was launched by Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang today in the presence of Minister of Forest and Environment, Shri Karma Loday Bhutia, Chief Secretary Shri V.B. Pathak, Director General of Police, Shri A.K. Singh, MLAs, Advisors, Chairpersons, Deputy Mayor (Gangtok Municipal Corporation) along with officials and representatives of various line departments. The programme was also attended by Zilla Panchayat representatives, BDOs, ASHA and Anganwadi workers from various districts of the State.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang congratulated the Forest Department and all the line departments for the successful conceptualization of ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ and said that the initiative would not only help in reinforcing the age-old bond of Sikkimese society with Mother Nature but will also accentuate the undeniable efforts of the State government in conserving the environment.

Shri Tamang said that the Forest Department has facilitated various modes for enrollment and registration of the newborns for the ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ initiative and added that after due consideration of the plantation season in the State, the plantation drive would continue annually throughout the first week of July. The saplings will be provided by the Forest and Environment Department with other line departments and ASHA/Anganwadi workers who will be assisting with onboarding the new parents ensuring seamless delivery of services, he added.

Quoting the ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ as a ‘revolution’ to protect Mother Nature, the Chief Minister urged for widespread awareness of the initiative at the grassroot level to march towards the common goal of making Sikkim the Green State of the country and achieve sustainable prosperity in the State. He stated that it is the duty and responsibility of every citizen of the State to safeguard forests and the environment as they are subjects of prime importance for public interest and added that preservation works would require the utmost cooperation and support of people from every walk of life. He also highlighted various eco-friendly policies of the State government and shared the prospects of Sikkim hosting Forest Festivals.

Shri Prem Singh Tamang further announced that non-government service parents with 1-2 children will now be granted baby maintenance allowance of Rs. 5000/month and Rs. 10,000/month for parents with more than two children. Both of the parents should not be government job holders, he mentioned.

Addressing various health concerns in the State, Shri Tamang suggested people to undergo thorough body check-ups once a year and urged all to maintain a healthy diet and avoid intake of unhealthy food such as ajinomoto. He also addressed the controversy over the Supreme Court verdict on the Sikkimese Nepali community and assured that the State government has initiated reformatory steps to address the concerns of the Sikkimese Nepali community.

In his keynote address, Chief Secretary, Shri V.B. Pathak, said that the democratic governance in Sikkim has followed the principles of reaping benefits from nature through non-evasive means and extended gratitude to the Chief Minister for his noble initiative of ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ that promises a brighter tomorrow, filled with vitality, health, and happiness. He further stated that the initiative would generate a sense of affinity and reverence for nature and compassion for flora and fauna in the State and leave a better environmental legacy for future generations. ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ abhiyan will embrace plants as one’s child or friend and improve the tree cover in the State as a step towards making Sikkim climate change resilient, said the Chief Secretary.

Minister of Forest and Environment, Shri Karma Loday Bhutia, in his address, covered the salient features of ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ initiative and informed that the Forest Department, in convergence with the Departments of Health & Family Welfare, Women & Child Welfare Department and Rural Development Department will ensure necessary requirements for the successful implementation of the initiative which will cover linking of Birth Registration with the MRMS platform, and provision of 100 saplings by the Forest and Environment Department and other Departments where applicable. He added that a hassle-free registration with Google forms is available at the nearest GVK/BAC/Forest Range Office and a dedicated WhatsApp Number for any query/assistance (74310-00333).
Shri Karma Loday Bhutia further placed various demands for the Forest Department field staff, to which the Chief Minister has assured to look into their demands and take appropriate action.

During the launch programme, the logo and radio jingle of ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ was unveiled through the hands of the Chief Minister, followed by the release of brochures and posters and the presentation of Mothers AV Clip and Enrollment demonstration video.

The event also featured an informative and entertaining Nepali skit, ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati,’ presented by Shri Chunilal Ghimire and his team of talented artists, which garnered high appreciation from the gathering.

The melodious theme song of ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ was also presented by singers Shri Thupden Bhutia and Ms. Snehshree Thapa.

On the occasion, saplings were also presented to seven new mothers from the State.

Earlier, the welcome address was delivered by Secretary Forest and Environment Department, Dr. Pradeep Kumar, wherein he briefed the gathering about the ‘Mero Rukh Mero Santati’ initiative.

Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Shri Tshewang Gyaccho, proposed the vote of thanks.

Technology Week commences at Krishi Vigyan Kendra Namthang

Namchi, 2nd February: Technology week is an important mandated programme of KVK for showcasing of technologies to the farmers. Keeping this in mind Technology week with the theme ‘Out scaling of Natural Farming’ commenced at KVK Namthang on 2nd February. The inaugural day of the technology week was chaired by Chief Guest Hon’ble Up- Adakshya Namchi District, Shri. Bikash Tamang and the Guest of Honour as Secretary Department of Agriculture, Shri. Jigme Dorjee Bhutia IAS. Public representatives present in the programme were Hon’ble Zilla Panchayat Nagi Karek Smt. Indra Karki, Hon’ble Zilla Panchayat Bikmat Rateypani Shri. Anil Shankar and Hon’ble Zilla Panchayat Perbing Dovan Shri. Mingma Dendup Sherpa. The participants of the programme included the farmers, CEO, President and BOD’s of Farmers Producer Organization from Dong, Passi, Tokal Bermiok, Rong Bul, OFPO-Chuba.

At the onset of the programme, visit of the dignitaries to various demonstration units at KVK farm was carried out followed by the inauguration of the Exhibition and technology showcasing stalls participated by Dept. of AH&VS Namthang, Soil Testing Lab Namthang, Chubako weavers, Namthang Bamboo Handicraft and various stalls of FPO and SHG’s promoted by KVK and ATMA.

After the formal inauguration of the exhibition stalls, the programme in the KVK hall started with the address by Senior Scientist and Head KVK Shri. I.P. Shivakoti stating the objectives of the programme and also highlighting the activities of the Kendra. To promote and create awareness about Natural Farming a session was held in which Dr.Pravesh Shivakoty Subject Matter Specialist KVK through power point presentation gave an outlook of the Natural farming production system. For creating awareness among the farmers of the different schemes in the line departments, resource persons from Namchi district – Dr. Nation Rai ADO cum Dy. Director ATMA spoke on the schemes of Agriculture Dept. and ATMA, Ms. Saroja Tamang HDO Namthang gave an insight on the schemes of Horticulture Dept. and Dr. Nebidita Pradhan Dy. Director Dept. of AH&VS gave a brief outline on the schemes of the Department.

A felicitation session was also held to acknowledge the works of ‘Chubako’ weavers and also to Summit Times for their unending support in providing media coverage.

The Chief Guest of the programme Hon’ble Up- Adakshya Shri. Bikash Tamang commended on the works done by KVK and his inclination towards the Kendra for moulding him as a farmer to what he has achieved till date. The Secretary Department of Agriculture, Shri. Jigme Dorjee Bhutia IAS appreciated on the contribution of the Kendra towards the farming community of Namchi district and also stressed on the importance of natural farming for the state. He also congratulated the ‘Chubako’ Weavers for their achievement in being internationally awarded with the Global Eco Artisan Award 2022 held in New York.

(Press Release from KVK, Namthang)

PRESS RELEASE FROM FOREST & ENVIRONMENT DEPARTMENT

मेरो रुख मेरो सन्तति
Plant a Tree, Leave a Legacy

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim – Shri P. S. Tamang (Golay), unveiled the Mero Rukh Mero Santati initiative in a launch programme organized in Mannan Kendra on February 2, 2023. The Mero Rukh Mero Santati is a novel green initiative conceptualized by Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay), the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim to strengthen the connect between parents, children and nature by planting trees to commemorate child birth. It aims to plant 100 trees for every newborn child born in Sikkim. Watching the tree grow, as the baby grows will be a symbolic way of welcoming a new born and commemorating their arrival on this earth. This is the first of its kind innovative novel green initiative in India.

The programme included unveiling of logo, release of posters and brochures and a theme song. A very informative Nepali skit was also performed which depicted the process of parent enrollment, plantation demand and actual planting activities. The Hon’ble Chief Minister also distributed token seedlings to the new parents. Secretary Forests, Shri Pradeep Kumar in his welcome addressed emphasized how this revolutionary initiative will transform the attitude of the people towards nature and how the saplings planted to commemorate the child birth will turn into heritage and act as bridge between the generations. Hon’ble Minister Forest and Environment Department – Shri Karma Loday Bhutia in his speech highlighted the key aspects of this initiative including convergence with other Departments like Health and Family Welfare Department, Women and Child Welfare Department and Rural Development Department.

In his speech the Hon’ble chief minister highlighted that the Sikkimese society has an intimate association with nature since time immemorial. We not only revere our mountains, lakes, rivers, caves and springs, but venerate the entire landscape as sacred. This initiative aims to reinforce this age-old bond of our society with nature. It aspires to co-create an ecosystem where both the tree and the child are able to reach towards the sun, a brighter tomorrow that promises vitality, health and happiness.

The Chief Secretary of Sikkim – Shri V. B. Pathak IAS reiterated that to ground this initiative various departments of the Government of Sikkim will need to converge to facilitate seamless service to the new parents right from enrollment to planting and after care. ASHA, Anganwadi workers, gram panchayats, urban local bodies and forest staff will need to facilitate the onboarding of the parents. Digital platform using multiple channels such as WhatApp, Email and Website have been enabled to connect with the new parents.

The new parents in their interaction deeply appreciated this noble initiative of the Government of Sikkim and promised full support and cooperation. Secretary Health in his concluding remarks elaborated about the transformative potential of initiative for the conservation of nature.

PRESS RELEASE FROM MSME COMMERCE & INDUSTRIES DEPARTMENT

2nd February 2023: MSME Division, Commerce & Industries Department in association with MSME-DFO, Ministry of MSME, Government of India organized a 2 day Vendor Development Programme under the Procurement and Marketing Support (PMS) Scheme at the Seminar Hall, Tourism and Civil Aviation Department.

The programme aims to highlight the Public Procurement Policy which directs all Central Ministries, Govt. Departments, State PSUs and CPSEs to set an annual target of 25% procurement from MSE Sector. The programme also aims to promote and develop Micro and Small Enterprises by supporting them in marketing of products and services rendered by them.

Shri. A.K. Tamaria, Joint Director, MSME-DFO welcomed all the guests from the State Departments, Central Government offices, States PSUS, Central Public Sector Enterprises, SHGs and entrepreneurs.

The programme was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Shri. Man Bahadur Chettri, Chairman, Commerce & Industries Department.He encouraged local youth to take up entrepreneurship instead of seeking jobs and urged the entrepreneurs to take advantages of the benefits offered by the Government.

Shri. Karma R. Bonpo, Secretary, Commerce & Industries spoke about how local entrepreneurs can take benefits of State and Central Government schemes such as SYSS, PMEGP,PM FME and Cluster Development Schemes.

The technical session was attended by Shri. Biswajit Sarkar, GeM State Business Facilitator.He gave a session regarding onboarding of local MSMEs on GeM Portal. Central PSEs and State PSUs then spoke about their procurement methods in their offices followed by interaction between State PSUs, CPSEs, Govt. Deptts and Private companies.

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.