Gangtok, May 16: (IPR) The 44th State Day celebration was observed at Chintan Bhawan, today. The Governor Mr. Ganga Prasad was present as the chief guest and the Chief Minister Mr. Pawan Kumar Chamling was the guest of honour.

The programme began with the lighting of ceremonial lamp by the Governor, Mr. Ganga Prasad, Chief Minister Mr. Pawan Chamling, Deputy Speaker (SLA), Mr. Sonam Gyatso Lepcha and Chief Secretary, Mr.A.K.Shrivastava.

The Governor in his address said that Sikkim became a part of the largest democracy of the world on 16th May, 1975 and the journey so far has been fruitful and fulfilling. The Governor said that the State Day is a joyous occasion when the people of Sikkim can recall with pride, enthusiasm and satisfaction, the multifarious and significant achievement made by the Government during the past years. “ Sikkim has managed to emerge as one of the best all round performing State in the country within four and half decades of becoming a part of the Indian Union.” said the Governor. He further added that Sikkim stands tall and is working with more zeal and keenness to make the State as a model in the country. With the outstanding work done by Sikkim, the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, also shares his vision and has lauded Sikkim for bagging the Gold at the Future Policy Award in Rome for being the World’s first totally Organic State, he said. He also stated that the Prime Minister termed Future Policy Gold Award, 2018 as equivalent to an Oscar and complimented the State Government and the people of Sikkim for the overall development. The Governor also congratulated the Chief Secretary, State Election Commission, Chief Electoral Officer, District Election Officers and all officials and staff who were involved in conducting a free, fair and peaceful election as a festival of Democracy.

The Chief Minister, Mr. Pawan Chamling in his address extended best wishes to the people on the occasion and highlighted the significance of the State Day. He also briefed the journey of Sikkim on being the 22nd State of India. The Chief Minister Mr Pawan Chamling stated that Sikkim has created history in every field for the all round development in the past 25 years. He appealed to the gathering not to misuse the democratic rights provided by the Constitution of India and to always join hands to work for the betterment and development of the State.

On the occasion, L. D. Kazi award for Democratic Rights was presented to late Mr. Namgyal Tshering Euthenpa by Governor, Mr. Ganga Prasad with a cash prize of Rs. I lakh. The award was received by his daughter Mrs. Chumsey Doma.The citation of late Mr. Namgyal Tshering Euthenpa was read by the Chief Secretary, Mr. A. K. Shrivastava. The Jeevan Rakshak Padak Award was presented to Mr. Chandra Kumar Gurung by the Chief Minster Mr. Pawan Chamling for his act of bravery for saving life of a man who accidently fell into Rani Khola.

The programme also saw singing of patriotic songs by the students and artists of Tadong Senior Secondary School, Deorali Girls Senior Secondary School and Cultural Affairs and Heritage Department, respectively,

Earlier, the Governor, Chief Minister and the dignitaries present paid tribute to the statue of L.D.Kazi who was the first Chief Minister of democratic Sikkim.

The welcome address was delivered by the Chief Secretary while the vote of thanks was proposed by Secretary, Information and Public Relations Department, Mrs. Sherap Shenga