Thursday, September 26, 2013

SGMI turns 50, celebrates smart bouquet of achievements

GANGTOK, 25 Sept [IPR]: Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute (SGMI) completed fifty years of establishment today. The golden jubilee celebration was held at Chintan Bhawan. It was on this day, in 1963, that the Mountaineering Institute was established in Gangtok. Following the demise of Late Sonam Gyatso, the first mountaineer of Sikkim and the founder Principal in 1968, the Institute was re-named as the Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute.
The Golden Jubilee celebration function was presided over by the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and attended by his Cabinet colleagues, Chief Secretary, Director, Intelligence Bureau and other officials along with senior officers of the State and Central Government.
While addressing the gathering the Chief Minister highlighted that SGMI in its 50-year-long journey has added several feathers to its cap, including the successful ascent of the Mt. Everest. He stated that it was a matter of pride for the Institute and for the State of Sikkim that Late Sonam Gyatso was the founder Principal of SGMI and the first Sikkimese to climb Mt. Everest. As a mark of respect to him, Tibet Road in Gangtok has also been re-named as Sonam Gyatso Marg, he added.
Speaking on the state government’s initiatives, the Chief Minister expressed that the State Government has implemented a large number of policy decisions in the field of sports and adventure tourism. The State Government is providing Grant-in-Aid to 17 Sports Institutions since 1996 and has also instituted Sikkim Khel Ratna Award, the highest award in Sports category in the State, which has been bestowed to Bhaichung Bhutia, Tarundeep Rai and Phulmaya Tamang.
Special Cash award along with other incentives is also being provided by the State Government to those sports person who bag gold, silver and bronze in the national and international arena.  He also expressed gratitude towards SGMI for imparting mountaineering training to the unemployed youth of Sikkim which would enable them to excel in the tourism sector.
Director, Intelligence Bureau, S Asif Ibrahim in his address mentioned that the primary objective of SGMI is to train the officers and staff in high altitude mountaineering and survival skills which are required for operating in high altitude border areas. Besides, producing trained and confident Intelligence Bureau officers for difficult and arduous duties in high altitude areas the institute has earned laurels for the country and the Bureau in the field of mountaineering, he added.
He informed that the Institute has so far conducted 159 Basic Mountaineering Courses, 29 Advanced Mountaineering Courses and trained more than 8000 personnel from the IB, Assam Rifles and NSS besides helping the local youth from Sikkim in attaining proficiency in mountaineering. He also spoke about the successful Everest expedition launched by SGMI in 2008.
During the function the Chief Minister was also felicitated by SGMI. The CM also presented mementos to distinguished guests, renowned mountaineers and SGMI Instructors. A documentary on SGMI was also screened during the function.
Earlier, Deputy Director, SIB, Gangtok welcomed the guests and highlighted the achievements of SGMI in the field of mountaineering.

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