Tuesday, May 29, 2007


The idealism of youth and knowledge of teachers and villagers will create a viable society where challenges can be met through constructive action: GM Gurung, Minister for HRDD

GANGTOK, May 28: Schools and members of Gram Panchayat Units (GPU) will now be joining hands towards accelerating human development in Sikkim. An awareness meet on Participatory Human Development at Gram Panchayat level was held today at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok for realisation of the project.

The meeting today was attended by Prof BK Roy Burman, Executive Chairman to Committee for Implementation, Steering and Monitoring (CISMO) as chief guests, with Speaker to Sikkim Legislative Assembly, DN Thakarpa as guest of honour.

The project implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in several states of India, 116 GPUs from all over Sikkim including 40 Senior Secondary Schools has been identified for active participation of teachers and students in preparing the village vision document. The project is reported to be an initiative where educational institutions will involve themselves with leaders and people at the grass root level to prepare vision document at Gram Panchayat Level.

The awareness programme will mainly be focusing on HIV/ AIDS, drug abuse, women empowerment and like other issues before the rural communities. An awareness committee was set up last year with the name Committee for Implementation, Steering and Monitoring (CISMO) under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister. The total amount funded by the UNDP is Rs 183 lakhs till December 2007.

Addressing the assembly of Principals and teachers present at the occasion, Prof Roy Burman said, “Sikkim has the signs of great affluence, therefore we should not be complacent”. Pointing that main source of funds being Central assistances, he said a large share is rolling out of the state and is not accumulated for investment in the state itself.

“83 percent of the state area is under forest cover and only a contribution of 1.5 percent is from these”, he informed. Emphasising the strengthening of information dissemination system, Prof Roy Burman added in a buoyant note that Human Resources Index will definitely achieve newer heights.

The Minister for HRDD, GM Gurung said the thrust area of education during 11th five year plan is reduction of drop outs. Among the thrust areas in education, Gurung informed about increasing accountability of teachers, stress on enrolment in higher education, as well diversification of vocational courses.

“The state government through Sarva Siksha Abhiyan will be attempting to increase the enrollment of 6-7 years and completion of at least 8 years of relevant school education”, said the HRDD minister. In regards to the project he opined, involvement of students of senior secondary schools and colleges will be a fruitful exercise in building consciousness among the young children and youth in understanding their own society.

The guest of honour DN Thakarpa on his part highlighted that in order to achieve successful completion of the project, people’s participation is of prime necessity. The Minister for Roads & Bridges DT Lepcha opined that joining hands in the project will also help rural connectivity an accelerated expansion.

While the minister for RMDD KN Rai highlighted on the eco-friendly achievements of rural development and decentralization of power, President to the Press Club of Sikkim, CD Rai in his discourse pointed the three ingredients that can generate better human resources, being education, health and economic stability. The Secretary to Information & Technology, MG Kiran in his deliberation brought into focus the various achievements of the 40 CIC centres around the state and more that are on the pipelines.

The second half of the session came with an interactive session on the theme of human development being actively participated by the Zillah Panchayats, Principals, Sikkim Women Commission and others.