JORETHANG, December 23: The one-leaf 2008 calendar featuring the first Kirat King Yallambar dating back to 400 BC and set on the backdrop of Mount Khangchendzonga along with the images of men and womenfolk attired in their traditional dress during a Rai festival and printed both in Bantawa script and in English was unveiled at a ceremony today morning at Baiguney Rodung Khim in Jorethang.
Minister for the State Rural Management Development Department, KN Rai launched the chic, artistic calendar amidst a thunderous applause.
The calendar priced at Rs 50 each has been designed and printed by Ashit Rai, one of the active members of Akhil Kirat Rai Sangh youth wing.
One of the chief reasons behind printing the calendar was to accumulate funds for the smooth functioning of the youth wing committee which, according to Ashit Rai is still in its nascent phase as far as its monetary aspect is concerned.
“By doing so, the youths of Rai community can prove our worth that we are not dependent on any higher authorities for financial support and that we can manage the same with ease and without hesitation, he said. It is the responsibility of every youth to come forward with resourceful initiatives for the development of the community. It would be better if they can come up with research work on Rai language and literature through books, periodicals, music albums and others which would definitely go a long way towards generating the requisite awareness on the significance of one’s own rich cultural heritage, Mr. Rai opined.
Both the chief guest and the guest of honour KB Chamling, chief whip of the Sikkim Democratic Front applauded Ashit Rai for the venture.
Besides, a coordination meeting of the Central Executive Committee to Akhil Kirat Rai Sangh (AKRS) was also held wherein the members highlighted on the ongoing construction of Rodung Khim (Place of Worship), which will be completed by May next year to coincide with the Sakewa festival. The meeting also informed of the Sangh’s participation in the forthcoming Maghey Mela celebrations by way of installing the traditional food stall, traditional Rai house and showcasing the cultural heritage of the Rai community through colourful cultural dance and songs in particular by the Mangpas (the Rai priests).
The Sangh has also planned to organize free coaching classes for aspiring state civil services examinees and for students appearing for their board examinations.
Likewise for the youths interested in availing higher level of education as high as PhD, the Sangh will sponsor the requisite expenses and also for those all set to take up career oriented courses in journalism, information technology, industry, fashion designing and management to name a few.