Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lower Samdong School wins ‘Green School Award’

MANGAN, 29 April:  Government Secondary School, Lower Samdong, East Sikkim is amongst the top 25 schools in the country short-listed for the ‘Green School Awards 2010’ (Top 10 Change Makers/ Top 10 New Schools/ 5 Best managers) organized by the Centre for Science and Environment [CSE], New Delhi.
The school’s outstanding performance in the Green School Programme organised by CSE under the monitoring and supervision of Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department, Government of Sikkim, have fetched them the award.
In this programme, the Headmaster, teachers and students involved themselves in proper management of water, air, land, energy and waste so as to inculcate in students the idea of judicious use of resources and to make our rich environment sustainable and equitable.
The school expresses deep gratitude to Chief Minister, Dr Pawan Chamling for his farsighted vision in environmental issues and to area MLA Tumin Lingee constituency cum Chief Whip, Ugen T Gyatso Bhutia for his constructive and regular support and aiming to make the constituency No.1 in the Green Mission programme of the state.
The school’s position will be announced at the Gobar Times Green Schools Awards ceremony to be held on 15 July at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.  Headmaster of the school, ML Koirala, two teachers, Programme Coordinator, SP Ghimirey, and Assistant Coordinator, ST Lepcha, including four students from the School Audit Team will participate in the ceremony to receive the award.

SNT buses rev up for new routes and improved services


GANGTOK, 29 April: The Sikkim Nationalised Transport [SNT] has finalized plans to introduce buses services from Rangpo to Kakarivitta, Nepal, from Rangpo to Kolkata, Rangpo to Jaigaon, the border with Bhutan and Rangpo to Bodhgaya,Jharkhand in the coming days.
“We want to increase our mileage and want to keep up with being the best transport service providers in the region. We want to make Rangpo our base and augment our fleet on a war footing,” informed chief engineer cum general manager, SNT Division, ND Rai while speaking to NOW! today.
He added that SNT will also be initiating a new direct bus service from Gangtok to Kalimpong after the elections in West Bengal and also add 6 new buses for the “Gangtok- Darshan” circuit which will prove helpful to the tourists.

“Delighted when students pass, distraught when teachers face victimisation transfers”

In conversation with Rudra Poudyal on his last day in office
GANGTOK, 29 April: After serving 35 years in the Human Resource Development Department [which was Education Department when he started out], Rudra Prasad Poudyal, is retiring from Government service on Saturday as HRDD Principal Director.
Mr. Poudyal, after earning a double MA, joined Sikkim Government College in the year 1977 as lecturer, Nepali, and was promoted as senior lecturer and selection grade lecturer in the same college.
He was promoted as Principal of Government College Namchi in the year 1995 and remained there till August 2000. From there, he was deputed as OSD in the Culture Department for one year.
He was then sent to the State Institute of Education as Joint Director and remained there till 2005. He was again promoted to the post of Additional Director [Higher Education] in HRDD from where he was made Secretary of the Sikkim Akademi in the year 2007. He was brought back to HRDD as Director in the year 2008 and was promoted to the post of Principal Director early this year.

Pre-Monsoon Thunderstorms: A lot of noise, but only scanty rainfall thus far

GANGTOK, 29 April: The pre-monsoon season is in spate in Sikkim with its signature evening thunderstorms which keep the mornings hot and dusty and bring in the chill every evening.
The Meteorologist Incharge at Gangtok Meteorological Centre, GN Raha, confirms that such thunderstorms are ‘normal’ during the pre-monsoon period, but, for all this noise and fury, the State has not been received ‘normal’ rainfall for this part of the year.
He explained that the pre-monsoon season [March to May] and post-monsoon season [October to December] bring substantial thunderstorm activities. Of the two phases, the thunderstorms of the pre-monsoon are much more violent.

Sikkim Chess Association affiliated to AICF

GANGTOK, 29 April: The Sikkim Chess Association [SCA] was granted official affiliation to the All India Chess Federation at the Central Council Meeting of the Federation held in Chennai on 23 April, informs a press release. SCA was represented at the meeting by the president and the general secretary of SCA.
Since its formation on 24 July, 2008, the executive body of SCA has been constantly persevering for its affiliation and recognition.
Following a visit of All India Chess Federation officials, DV Sundar and Bharat Singh Chawan to the state on 06 February, 2011 where an interface between the committee members of SCA and the officials of the Federation had begun the process, the release further informs.

USFC holds Royal Wahingdoh to goalless draw

GANGTOK, 29 April: The United Sikkim Football Club’s tryst with draws continues in the final round of the Second Division I-League. Playing its second, very closely played match today, USFC held Shillong-based Royal Wahingdoh to a goalless draw at the Polo Ground, Shillong.
The first match of the USFC against Sporting Clube-de-Goa on 26 April had also ended level at 1-1.
The USFC now has 2 points against its name from two drawn matches and is placed in the 5th place in this round of 8.

Technology Needs to be Used


The biometric time attendance units installed in government departments are not just gadgets acquired to patronise some supplier with some extra profits, these are tools which should be leveraged to deliver the work-culture improvement that government departments desperately require. Like with all tools, even this technology is a facilitator, which, if used to its potential, can keep public servants in office, but cannot, if left unmonitored, ensure any improvement in public service. One sees the latter happening in most government offices where these units sit in corners, the employees checking in their attendance, but no one leveraging the technological possibilities offered by this gadget to keep a watch on attendance. There are already comments on the superficiality of the initiative which has been around for a couple of years now. “It is too easy to fool- register in time in the morning, leave office to run personal errands and return at 4 p.m. and punch out”. Of course, if one sets out to circumvent the system, one can find the loopholes, but even the nature of hood-winking mentioned here is easily plugged should the right structure be put in place. This tool is still reasonably effective in ensuring better attendance, which is perhaps why there have also been instances of intentional damage so that the office returned to the easily manipulated manual attendance registers.

SNT begins Gangtok-Tumin bus service

GANGTOK, 29 April [IPR]: On the request of the public, the area MLA and the staff of the Block Administrative Centre, Tintek, the SNT Department has started a bus service to cater especially to teachers, office goers and public from Gangtok to Tumin from Friday onwards.
The bus leaves at 8 a.m. in the morning from Gangtok and goes up to Tumin and back. In the afternoon it leaves at 1.30 p.m. on the same route and fetches passengers from the respective destinations.
On the first day of the service yesterday, Joint Secretary, SNT Division, Navin Chettri, also travelled up to Tintek where a meeting with the public, Panchayats and BAC staff was held to disseminate information about the bus service.
Employees and teachers agreed to book the bus on monthly pass system and assured to extend full cooperation to the department for the successful operation of the service.
On behalf of the public and staff, BDO Tintek (in-charge), KL Lepcha, expressed gratitude towards the SNT for providing bus services in the area.

IPR Minister accepts SPA invitation to become chief patron of organisation

GANGTOK, 29 April: CB Karki, Minister for Department of Information and Public Relations, has accepted the proposal of the Sikkim Press Association [SPA] to sit as its Chief Patron.
It may be recalled that in a meeting held earlier this month, SPA had passed a resolution that the IPR Minister be invited as ex-officio Chief Patron of the Association.
An SPA delegation led by its president, Xavier Subba, met the Minister with the proposal this morning at his office in Tashiling Secretariat.

Powerless and without dial tones in West Sikkim

We, the general public of Samdong, Sreebadam, Buksam Deythang, Bon Reshi, West Sikkim have been experiencing power cut off for the last many days. The electricity is not supplied by the department between 7 pm to 12 am daily. Due to this the students are facing problems in their students and also domestic chores are disturbed.
We also grieve on the telephone service in these areas. The telephone lines were disconnected in August 2008 by the concerned authorities. In spite of number of requests made to the authorities, the public here were denied the service. Now some of the people here have started to receive the telephone bill, with no connection as such.
The people here feel that it is the sheer careless of the concerned departments.
Names withheld on request

Sri Sathya Sai Organization thanks the Chief Minister

GANGTOK, 29 April: Sri Sathya Sai Organization, Sikkim has extended its gratitude towards Chief Minister Pawan Chamling for declaring a Government holiday on 27 April and making it possible for Sai devotees to participate in Prathna Sabhas held across the State on the day of Sai Baba’s funeral on 27 April.
The organization has also expressed its gratitude to the Gangtok MLA, Dorjee Namgyal Bhutia, Thukchuk Lachungpa, members of SDF Business Cell, Voice of Sikkim and Udhisa, TAAS president Lukendra Rasialy, Secretary (retd.), Kiran Rasaily, MD, Nayuma Television, Roshan Rai, Sushma Gurung of Arithang and others for their support and kind gestures, informs a press release.

ASDLF plans district-wise celebration of Labour Day

GANGTOK, 29 April: The All Sikkim Democratic Labour Front, the labour wing of the ruling party, has decided to celebrate Labour Day in a grand manner in all four districts on 01 May.
The celebration for East district will be held at two venues- the SDF Bhawan and Mining Ground, Rangpo.
SDF Bhawan will host participants from Gangtok, Arithang, Tadong, Upper Burtuk, Shyari and some areas of Rumtek-Martam constituencies, while people from the rest of Rumtek-Martam, Rhenock, Namcheybong, Chujachen and West Pandem will attend the celebrations at Mining Ground.
SDF vice-president, DT Lepcha, will be the chief guest at SDF Bhawan, while SDF vice-president, Somnath Poudyal will chair as the chief guest at Mining Ground.
Likewise, the celebration for all three constituencies in north district will be held at Mangan Public Ground, which will have the Power Minister, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, as the chief guest, and celebration for constituencies in west district will be held at Geyzing Community Hall, which will has the Road and Bridges Minister, RB Subba, as the chief guest.
The SDF President who is also the ASDLF president, Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling, will chair the celebrations of south district at Lamitar in Temi-Tarku as the chief guest.

New building added for Katerbotey School

GANGTOK, 29 April: A four-room school building was inaugurated by area MLA Puran Kumar Gurung at Katerbotey, Dalapchand, in East Sikkim yesterday.
The inauguration ceremony was followed by a welcome song by students of the school and presentation of the school report by Headmaster, PD Bhutia, who also requested the government for provision of drinking water, toilet, electricity, fencing, and LPG cylinder for the school, informs a press release.
The school also felicitated the land donor, Harka Man Rai, on the occasion.
Traditional dances were performed by Katarbotey Primary School, Dalapchand SS, Chandaney PS, Lower Dalapchand, Aritar, Changeylakha, Thongsung PS and devotional song by Bal Vikas students of Katarbotey, the release adds.

Technology cannot out-wit recalcitrance

GANGTOK, 28 April: Following a Government circular issued some years back, a majority of the head offices of Government departments are now equipped with Biometric Time Attendance gadgets.
As an outcome, punctuality has noticeably improved among the employees, but that, of course, is not the same as an improved work culture. What has also been noticed is that in the absence of proper monitoring and stock-taking, these gadgets have become more about posing potential disciplinary scrutiny than actually delivering it.
Speaking to NOW!, a senior official of the Home Department, commented that without proper monitoring, this gadget was useless.

Friday, April 29, 2011

SNT begins Gangtok-Tumin bus service

GANGTOK, 29 April [IPR]: On the request of the public, the area MLA and the staff of the Block Administrative Centre, Tintek, the SNT Department has started a bus service to cater especially to teachers, office goers and public from Gangtok to Tumin from Friday onwards.
The bus leaves at 8 a.m. in the morning from Gangtok and goes up to Tumin and back. In the afternoon it leaves at 1.30 p.m. on the same route and fetches passengers from the respective destinations.
On the first day of the service yesterday, Joint Secretary, SNT Division, Navin Chettri, also travelled up to Tintek where a meeting with the public, Panchayats and BAC staff was held to disseminate information about the bus service.
Employees and teachers agreed to book the bus on monthly pass system and assured to extend full cooperation to the department for the successful operation of the service.
On behalf of the public and staff, BDO Tintek (in-charge), KL Lepcha, expressed gratitude towards the SNT for providing bus services in the area.

Savari mishap at Tiffin Dara claims 3 lives

NAMCHI, 28 April: A fatal road mishap at Tiffin Dara near Samdruptse here claimed three lives and left seven others injured today.
Man Bahadur Rai (30), his wife Shantikala Rai (28) and Anita Rai (28) of Simkharka Ben in South Sikkim were killed on the spot at around 9 a.m. this morning when the Mahindra Savari passenger jeep [SK-04-9904] they were travelling in went off the road near the Samdruptse diversion road. The vehicle was coming in to Namchi from Ben below Temi-Tarku.
Initial police investigation into the accident is pointing towards negligence on the part of the driver as the reason behind the mishap. The vehicle plunged around 60 feet off the road. All three fatalities were on the spot, while the remaining seven occupants, including the driver, escaped with minor injuries.

Contractor protests muscling out from tender process, wins High Court order to gain entry

GANGTOK, 28 April: Anand Lama, a contractor from Pani House, Gangtok, has won himself a court order allowing his bid for a contract work to be accepted by the Buildings & Housing Department after he was ‘blocked’ from submitting his bid by a group of youth who had allegedly stationed themselves outside the concerned office to bar those from outside their nexus from bidding for the work.
In a press release issued today, Mr. Lama has heralded the Court verdict announced in his favour by the High Court of Sikkim on 27 April as a “landmark verdict” against, what he calls, the increasing political pressure being exercised on the contract process in the State.

Road Safety


Preliminary investigation into the road mishap which claimed the lives of a young couple on their way to meet their boys - an 8 and a 10 year old, who are now orphaned – suggests that negligence on the part of the driver caused the accident. It does not take very refined investigative skills to figure out that accidents are caused by negligence. That much is a given. What does however require clearer thinking and genuine concern is to work out an effective policing pattern which ensures that young children are not orphaned due to the recklessness of a driver ‘licensed’ to ferry a vehicle-full of passengers. Accidents are not rare occurrences in Sikkim, but what remains inexcusably absent from the roads is a policing approach that catches reckless driving before it ends up in mangled fatalities. These are times when every citizen of the State is also a commuter. Has anyone, ever, witnessed a driver being pulled off the road for reckless driving before s/he has hit someone or something or, god forbid, disrupted the speed of a VIP convoy? This simply does not happen. And yet, every road accident results from negligent driving...

Yangang prays for Sai Baba

RANGPO, 28 April: Sri Sathya Sai Sewa Samiti of Yangang, South Sikkim, organised a peace prayer and rally at Yangang Bazaar in the memory of Sri Sathya Sai Baba Thursday. The convenor of the group, Madhu Basnett , senior member DB Gurung and active member Vivek Agarwal inform that the  peace prayer and rally was attended by a huge number of Sai Samiti members, delegates and members from NGOs, associations and clubs of the area.  The market remained closed to mourn the passing away of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Students and children of the area also participated in the peace rally. Similar programmes were organised in other parts of the area as well.  [SANJAY AGARWAL]

US Consul for Political and Economic Affairs arrives on official visit

GANGTOK, 28 April: The Office of the Consulate General of the United States of America, Kolkata appears to be taking a keen interest in collaborating with the Government of Sikkim specially in providing the state with technical expertise and funding options.
This development follows from the reputation of proactive governance that Sikkim has earned in the recent past, the 2015 missions declared by the Chief Minister and the exemplary status the state commands amongst all the eight Northeastern states.

Public Info Campaign on Bharat Nirman begins in Ranka

GANGTOK, 28 April [IPR]: Minister for Rural Management and Development, Information and Public Relations Department, CB Karki, inaugurated the three-day Public Information Campaign on various flagship programmes of Government of India today at Block Administrative Centre, Ranka, East Sikkim. The programme has been organised by PIB, Gangtok, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. Public Information Campaign is a regular calendar programme of PIB which disseminates information on the various flagship programmes of Government of India like MGNREGA, TSC, PMGSY, ARWSP, NRWDP, NRHM etc to the public.

Alay Choktul ordained at Alay Gumpa

NAMCHI, 28 April: After a gap of ten years, ‘Theeten’ of Alay Mehmey Sangay Lama, the Head Monk of Dechen Chholing Gumpa at Alay, Namchi, was held yesterday. Ten-year old, Chewang Dorjee Tamang has been recognized as the ‘Tulku’ [reincarnation] of Alay Mehmey Sangay Lama and was renamed “Alay Choktul” after yesterday’s ceremony.
The reincarnation of Alay Mehmey Sangay is from Denchung, South Sikkim, and belongs to a family of farmers. He is the son of Dhanbahadur Tamang (Ex- Panchayat) and Sanchamaya Tamang. The ‘Theeten’ and recognition was formalized yesterday at Dechen Chholing Gumpa by Rigzin Chenmo Rinpoche of Dharamsala along with lamas of Dechen Chholing Gumpa. The Rinpoche had been invited by monastery to perform the ceremony. During the ceremony, he spoke on the background of Alay Mehmey and about the reincarnate.
After the ceremony, 21 Dolma Kawang distribution was conducted, followed by ‘maney’ (peace prayer) in the name and memory of spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Chairman Namchi Municipal Council, BT Tamang in his address presented a detailed history of Alay Gumpa.

Year of Tourism 2010 in Sikkim


Prashant Rai, Information Assistant (I&P), Tourism & Civil Aviation Department
The Year 2010 was declared as the Year of Tourism by the State Government. Coinciding with the inauguration of International Rhododendron festival in North Sikkim on 25h April 2010, the Year of Tourism was launched. The year witnessed a series of Tourism activities all over the State. The inauguration of International Rhododendron Festival on at Singbha Rhododendron Sanctuary Gate on 25th April 2010 was marked by flag off for biking at Yumthang- Lachen and also other activities like trekking, nature camp, bird watching, angling and short treks  amidst the forest which was  in full bloom with   colorful  rhododendrons, primulae and magnolia. International Conference on Rhododendron Conservation and Sustainable use was held at Saramsa Garden on 29th April 2010.This was participated by tourists and experts from different corners of the world.
Meetings on promotion of Adventure Tourism, Village Tourism, Responsible Tourism and various other topics were held from time to time. At the same time tourism officials and tour operators both from within and outside the country also visited the State to understand the tourism potential of the State.

Truck slips off Legship-Gyalshing road

GANGTOK, 28 April: A truck loaded with bricks fell off the Legship-Gyalshing road at 6th Mile yesterday.  The truck, driven by Ravi Mangar, 24, was going towards Gyalshing. All occupants escaped with minor injuries.

Zydus workers demand wages for working days lost to ASDLF bandh

GANGTOK: Workers at Zydus Health Care, a pharmaceutical company in Rangpo staged a protest on Wednesday, refusing to work unless their demands were met by the management. The workers were demanding that wages be paid for the two-day strike called on 04 and 05 April by the labour front of the Sikkim Democratic Front party. It is informed that the matter was resolved at around 10 AM and the workers resumed their duties.

Benjamin Tamang becomes first ordained Catholic priest from Gangtok

PEDONG, 28 April: Deacon Benjamin B Tamang of St. Thomas Parish, Gangtok, has been ordained the first Catholic priest from Gangtok. He is the second Diocesan priest from Sikkim, after Fr. Robin Kalikotey of St. Mary’s Parish, Gyalshing, who was ordained at a special function held at Namchi Public School last year.
Deacon Benjamin Tamang and other six deacons were ordained priests by Rev. Bishop Stephen Lepcha of Darjeeling-Sikkim Diocese in a ceremony organized at St. George’s Senior Secondary School, Pedong, yesterday.
Earlier, homage was paid to Sri Sathya Sai Baba on behalf of the Diocese and two minutes silence observed to mourn his death. The priests ordained yesterday, are: Boniface Rai, St. Teresa’s Parish Kalimpong; Marcelenus Sukdhen Lepcha, Vijaya Rani Parish, Maria Basti; Pradeep Austine Rai, Lolay Parish; Stephen Lepcha, Vijaya Rani Parish, Maria Basti; David Rai, Damsang, Pedong; Benjamin B Tamang , St. Thomas’ Parish Gangtok, and Michael Singh, Vijaya Rani Parish , Maria basti.

AFC ‘C’ coaching licence for 3 from Sikkim

GANGTOK, 28 April: Alen Tshering Bhutia, Bhaskar Limboo and Anil Tamang, who were nominated by Sikkim Football Association to undergo training in AFC 'C' Licence course for coaches conducted by Asian Football Confederation and All India Football Federation, have successfully passed the examination.
They will be awarded the ACF 'C' Licence Soccer Coach Certificate. Mr. Bhutia and Mr. Limboo attended this course in Guwahati from 15 to 30 October 2009, while Mr. Tamang too this course from 23 Oct to 06 Nov 2010.
Sharing this update with the media today, the SFA general secretary, Menla Ethenpa, said that SFA has been endeavouring to extend this training to more and more youth from Sikkim so that could groom more Bhaichungs in the days to come.
The SFA president, Tempo Bhutia, also congratulated the trio and said that with this certificate, they could now coach budding football players officially. SFA is more happy with the fact that all these three coaches who has passed this examination are from the districts, an SFA release adds.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sikkim comes together to pray for Sai Baba

MG Marg, Gangtok
MG Marg, Gangtok

GANGTOK, 27 April: Sai Bhakts from all parts of the capital congregated in large numbers at MG Marg today to take part in the “Prathna Sabha” held there to coincide with the funeral of Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Puttaparthi.
The prayer congregation was organized by the Sri Sathya Sai Sewa Sangathan, Gangtok and North District, and Gangtok Civil Society and was also attended by HRDD Minister, NK Pradhan and Gangtok MLA, Dorjee Namgyal, who is also the chairman of the Dharma Nilayam Construction Committee, and many other dignitaries.

Mangan pays homage to Sai Baba with candlelight rally

MANGAN, 27 April: Executive members of the North District Sri Satya Sai Sewa Samiti’s Mangan branch were joined by hundreds of Sai Bhakts today for a candlelight rally taken out through town here to pay their last respects to Sri Sathya Sai Baba whose funeral was held in Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh today. The rally was coordinated by Mangan Nagar Panchayat Councilor, PK Malu, and started at 6 p.m. from the Mangan Shiv Mandir, proceeding to Mangan Bazaar with the devotees singing Sai bhajans.

Sai Bhakts congregate in Jorethang

JORETHANG, 27 April: Like elsewhere across the world, Sai Bhakts turned out in large numbers here at Jorethang to pray together and then proceed in a rally to coincide with Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s funeral in Puttaparthi. At least 3,000 devotees from Sombaria, Legship, Pipaley, Daramdin and Kamling-Suldung congregated here and joined the rally from Jorethang Sai Mandir to the Rangeet river bank. [from JEEWAN SUBBA]

Melli Dara Paiyong’s national award-winning panchayat team returns to warm reception

MELLI, 27 April: The Panchayats of Melli Dara Paiyong GPU, who bagged the Rashtiya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar 2011 in recognition of the effective gram sabhas held by them, were accorded a warm welcome on their return to their home constituency, Melli in South Sikkim, on Tuesday. The national award was conferred on the GPU at a special function held in New Delhi on Sunday, the National Panchayati Raj Day.
The panchayat members, led by their president, Ganesh Kr. Rai, were received at the Melli check post by a huge gathering of proud Sikkimese with traditional khadas and led to the bazaar in a procession accompanied with a celebratory burst of firecrackers.
The Melli Dara Paiyong GPU members are: President Ganesh Kr. Rai, Vice-President Data Ram Sharma, Secretary Dhan Bdr. Sharma, members Passang Doma Bhutia, Laki Doma Tamang and Santa Kumar Rai. Accompanying them were Zilla panchayat Farwanti Tamang, technicians Santosh Subba and Mani Kr. Rai and RDA Madhav Sharma.

Prayers and rally in Namchi

NAMCHI, 27 April: Sri Sathya Sai Baba commanded a huge following in the Hills and his devotees, who could not make it Puttaparthi for his funeral have been congregating I large groups across the State offering prayers and singing bhajans as they find solace in their collective faith.
The Sai Centre, Namchi, also held prayers and bhajans today, coinciding with Sai Baba’s funeral in Puttaparthi. The prayers began at 11 a.m. and continued till 3 p.m., after which a silent candlelight rally was taken out from the Sai Mandir here, through the District Administrative Centre premises via Central Park and returning to the Sai Mandir.
People from all walks of life and faiths joined in the prayer service and rally.
A former Bal Vikas student, distraught by the loss, shared her experience of meeting the Sai Baba in person and fought back tears to share that his innumerable devotees have been orphaned by his passing away.

CM offers prayers at Sai International Centre

GANGTOK, 27 April [IPR]: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who is on an official visit to Delhi, visited the Sai International Centre at Lodhi Road, New Delhi to offer prayers and his last respects to Sri Sathya Sai Baba today. The Chief Minister stayed at the Centre for half an hour praying along side other devotees of Sai Baba. The Chief Minister was accompanied by Principal Secretary, Chief Minister’s Secretariat, RS Basnet.

Singhik Secondary School hosts all-faith prayer service for Sai Baba

GANGTOK, 27 April: An all-faith prayer meet was organized by the staff and students of government secondary school, Singhik, in North Sikkim on Tuesday to offer the area’s last respects to Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The students recited Buddhist, Hindu and Christian prayers in the memory of the departed spiritual leader.
Headmaster, KT Bhutia, spoke on the occasion, remarking that in Sai Baba’s death, mankind had suffered a huge loss. Similarly, Phuchungla Bhutia, in-charge, spoke on the Baba’s benevolent contributions to the world and his love and service to all people.

High Jumper Ravi Pradhan of Upper Dalapchand School bags 5th position in national interschool tournament

GANGTOK, 27 April: Ravi Pradhan, a Class IX student from Upper Dalapchand Secondary School, secured fifth position in the High Jump event among other athletes from 29 states at the recently concluded 5th National Inter School Tournament Group-1. The tournament seeks to promote sports and games in schools and was held from 18 to 21 April at Rajnandgoan, Chhattisgarh.
Ravi was presented a memento and a certificate. Sikkim was represented by athletes Ravi Pradhan and Saran Gurung [from Rhenock SSS] and Baha’i School, Tadong in basketball.

National colloquium of SIRDs begins with high praise for rural empowerment in Sikkim

GANGTOK, 27 April: Around 100 delegates from across the country are here in the capital for the XXIVth National Colloquium of the State Secretaries [RD&PR] and Heads of the State Institutes of Rural Development [SIRD], which began today here at Denzong Regency.
The three-day long colloquium has been jointly organized by the National Institute of Rural Development [NIRD] and the State Institute of Rural Development, Sikkim.
In his inaugural address, the NIRD Director General, Mathew C Kunnumkal, urged the delegates representing different states to invest active participation in the colloquium to make it a productive meet to draw an action plan for the future.

Class IX student run over in Namchi

NAMCHI: A class IX student, on her way home from school, was hit by a private van bearing registration No. SK-02A/1756 at Jorethang Road here around 3:45 pm on Monday.
According to eye witnesses, the incident took place in front of a hardware store where the vehicle was parked on the footpath. As the girl was moving around the vehicle, she came under the front wheels of the van.
The victim, Nisha Tamang, was rushed to the Namchi Hospital from where she was referred to Siliguri. She is in a critical condition, it is informed.

Seeking Quality for Education

Education is being billed as a priority area for governmental assistance with ‘quality’ as the watch word. It is heartening for Sikkim to learn that education is receiving a relook, the challenge now will be ensure that the appraisal is frank and forthright and the course correction effective. The density of schools in Sikkim leaves no room for complaint and the free textbooks and uniform scheme of the government ensures that at least the tools required to remain in school are in place. Schemes like the mid-day meal are also pegged as incentives to keep students in school, but the only effective incentive will be the quality of education that is imparted in the classrooms, not the quality of food served during breaks. That said, enrolment is handsome in Sikkim’s schools and kids here can complete education if they so desire. What is necessary to ensure is for the schools to groom the students, not just prepare them to pass their board exams. There is no prescribed set of do’s and don’ts by which this can be achieved, but a good place to begin would be to offer respect and provide inspiration. Respect for the students and their education and inspiration for the teachers and their responsibilities.

Chakung panchayats demand RB Subba’s removal from Cabinet

GANGTOK: MB Rai, panchayat secretary of Chakung Gram Panchayat Unit and Dorji Tshering Bhutia, Panchayat member of Chumbung GPU under Soreng-Chakung constituency in West Sikkim have demanded the immediate expulsion of their area MLA, RB Subba, from his ministerial post alleging that the Minister was the “main conspirator” behind the several incidents of violence reported in the recent past in the constituency.
Through a press release issued today, the Panchayat duo claimed that as Panchayat members, they were witness to the anti-development, anti-people, inhuman and anti-social activities in the area, who, they contend, are backed by the area MLA. The Panchayat duo have condemned and protested the “undemocratic activities”.
Detailing 11 such incidents, including that of Singling, after Mr. Subba was elected the area MLA around two years back, they alleged that all the accused persons, who were arrested and released on bail in these incidents were close to Mr. Subba.

Telecom infrastructure allowed to disintegrate in North Sikkim

MANGAN: The poor telecom service provided by BSNL in the North district has consistently attracted criticism from the people, who are now even more offended by the sight of telecom cables littered along the highway and various states of neglect and disrepair.
The BSNL cable line in North Sikkim stands abandoned in a pathetic condition, snapped at some places and hanging from collapsed poles at others. The optical fiber cables installed barely a year ago connecting Singtam to Mangan is obviously not in a position to offer any connectivity. This line has been damaged at several locations, especially between Aap Dara to Thingchim Zero. The unfortunate part is that no one appears concerned enough to either repair these disruptions or reinforce the infrastructure better.

Bardewa protests leasing away of Sahitya Parishad Bhawan

GANGTOK, 27 April: Founder president of Youth Library Sikkim, Santosh Bardewa, today contended that the leasing out of the Nepali Sahitya Parishad Bhawan to the National School of Drama has “snatched away the only platform for literary persons in the state to express and share their works.
He further alleged that this was a “negative step” taken by the executive committee of the Nepali Sahitya Parishad.
Mr Bardewa has appealed the Chief Minister to step in and “save this important place and only platform for the literary activities in the state”.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

USFC comes back from a goal down to draw against Sporting Clube-de Goa

GANGTOK, 26 April: Bhaichung’s United Sikkim Football Club [USFC] has started its final round of the second division I-League with a draw in Shillong today. The keenly played match pitted USFC against Sporting Clube-de Goa and ended level at 1-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. A total of eight teams, 6 from the qualifiers and two on demotion from the main I-League, are in the fray in the final round. The top-two teams from the final round will qualify to play in I-League later this year.
Daniel Bidemi earned a lead for Sporting Clube-de Goa in the 27th minute and the USFC equalized from the boots of Beikhokhei in the 34th minute itself. No more goals were scored and regulation time ended with the scoreboard reading 1-1.
Being a very crucial round for the USFC, today’s match was also played by the Indian skipper Bhaichung Bhutia for 85 minutes as stopper even though he is still recovering from an injury. He has really proved a solid stopper for the team and foiled many Clube-de-Goa attacks today.
Bhaichung was also joined by two more players from Sikkim, Nim Tshering and Tshepel Bhutia. The scorer for the team, Beikhokhei, hails from Mizoram.
Speaking over the phone, the USFC senior manager, Arjun Rai, endorsed that the team played well as a unit, with each player delivering on the tasks shouldered on him.
The team reached Shillong on 24 April and was inexplicably not allowed practice time yesterday by the stadium management. The USFC started the final round without the mandatory practice session and only a light warm up today, Mr Rai informs.
The team has still done well, bouncing back from a goal down to draw the match.
Mr. Rai stated as much, highlighting that despite of all the traveling and injuries, the team played very good football even if unable to score more goals in the match today.
Bhaichung’s team also received encouraging crowd support. The crowd might not be as supportive on Friday when USFC takes on Shillong’s home-team, Royal Wahingdoh.

STDC goes online with G2C travel portal

GANGTOK, 26 April [IPR]: Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation Ltd launched its G2C (Government to Customer) travel portal on 22 April, during the closing ceremony of the International Rhododendron Festival held at Uttarey, West Sikkim.
STDC has become the first government organization to venture into airline ticketing with the launch of this portal which has been developed on a Public Private Partership (PPP) model in collaboration with ZETA Travel Technologies Pvt Ltd, informs a press release. This portal offers cheap and reliable airfares apart from various tour packages within Sikkim like village tourism (homestay) pilgrimage tours, trekking etc.
The government of Sikkim has declared the tourism industry as a thrust industry to promote tourism based economics and to act as the key agent for sustainable economic development. This venture has been conceptualized to make Sikkim a tourist destination by choice and to facilitate self employment opportunities and result in entrepreneurship development in various corners of state, the release further informs.

SDF condemns Sikkim BJP’s latest rant

GANGTOK, 26 April: The Sikkim Democratic Front has responded strongly to allegations leveled against the Chief Minister and other SDF leaders by the Sikkim-unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The SDF, through a press release issued today, has condemned the statements issued by the Sikkim BJP president, Padam Bahadur Chettri, yesterday and countered it as a “stunt” to make headlines by seeking to tarnish the image of the Chief Minister.
An SDF press release highlights that to date, the BJP has not made any contribution for the welfare of Sikkim and the Sikkimese people, and has consistently sought to denigrate the mandate of the people by launching personal attacks on the Chief Minister.
This, the release adds, the BJP has attempted through its failed attempt to drag the CM to court on trumped up charges of possessing dual citizenship.
The BJP’s latest move, the SDF contends, reflects the “desperation” coursing through the party in Sikkim where it finds itself with neither public support nor even “sense or any political or social contributions”.

Neeru Sewa condoles Sai Baba’s passing away

GANGTOK, 26 April: Minister, Commerce & Industries, Neeru Sewa, has expressed her deepest regrets on the passing away of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The service rendered by Sri Sathya Sai Baba towards humanity and spirituality stands incomparable, the Minister has conveyed, while offering her condolences to all devotees of her department, her area, West Pendam and the entire public, informs an SDF press release. The Minister, herself a devotee of Sai Baba, expressed that it was a great loss to the people and prays for the great soul to rest in peace.

A Social Deficit on Suicides


Readers would have noticed that this newspaper is not reporting on suicide cases as regularly as it used to till quite recently. The absence of reports on suicides has fallen not necessarily because Sikkim is recording fewer suicides, but because a editorial course correction is being undertaken on how suicides are reported in NOW! Some years ago, when a conscious decision was taken to try and report every suicide in Sikkim in the paper, it was not to fill space, but to shock readers into action. It was hoped that readers would notice the disturbing frequency with which suicides were occurring in Sikkim and that this would lead to a social response to address the situation. The people noticed, they were even shocked, but that was all. The Government made some gestures towards addressing the social challenge, but has apparently lost interest because the people don’t seem to really care because the reciprocal engagement has not materialised to direct even the feeble departmental attempts to face up to suicides. To continue reporting on suicides in the absence of a strong societal response runs the risk of just reinforcing suicidal tendencies among those already at risk.

School Annual Grants and Minor Repair Grants under RMSA released for North schools

MANGAN, 26 April: The School Annual Grants and Minor Repair Grants under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) for the financial year 2010-11 were released at a meeting held on Monday at the District Project Office, RMSA [North] here. The meeting was held in the presence of District Collector (N), TN Kazi and Deputy Director, HRDD/North, MK Gurung.
BRCC/ Mangan, Kalzang T Bhutia, welcomed the participants and made a presentation on the aims and objective of RMSA and highlighted the activities undertaken by the District Project Office so far. Mr Gurung urged all school heads to follow the guidelines prescribed for RMSA while implementing the activities sanctioned. He also requested them to maintain proper record of books of account pertaining to RMSA, MDM and SSA separately.

Seeking a foot overbridge across NH-31A at Central Referral Hospital gate

Kind attention is drawn to the fact that the Central Referral Hospital (CRH) situated at 5th Mile, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim had became an advance centre for healthcare services for the people of Sikkim and other states.  In addition, the first and only colleges for medical and allied education viz Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical College (SMIMS), Sikkim Manipal College of Nursing (CON) and Sikkim Manipal College of Physiotherapy under the aegis of Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) respectively imparting MBBS, BPT and B.Sc Nursing degree courses are also situated together with CRH at this place.
The premises of the CRH, University and all the colleges mentioned are link by an approach road uphill of the 31A National Highway and the ‘Sarawati Mandir’ on downhill of the road are visited by large number of public each day. In particular, the student, parents, employees, patients, patient parties and well wishers reaches the hospital; colleges and University.  In order to reach there, they are required to cross the busy National Highway at different hours of the day and night.  In addition, the residents of adjoining villages above the hospital premises also constitute the category of pedestrians to cross the National Highway.
There are taxi stops on both side of the National Highway at this place to drop and pick the pedestrians, which are required by public to facilitate their movement to and from Gangtok and other places. The only National Highway to Gangtok remains busy with flow of traffic to and from Gangtok, Siliguri, and other places of the state.  Therefore, the pedestrians crossing this National Highway had to wait and watch the vehicle moving from up and down before they get chance to cross the road. Sometime due to high speed vehicle and sometime with vehicular congestion on National Highway, the pedestrians had to wait for more than 20 minutes or half an hour to cross the road.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New post added to 'Face in the Crowd' section

Public holiday declared for Wednesday to mark Sai Baba’s funeral

GANGTOK, 26 April: A public holiday has been declared in Sikkim for 27 April, Wednesday, as a mark of respect for Sri Sathya Sai Baba whose burial is scheduled for Wednesday.
A government notification issued today by the Department of Home explains, “In order to facilitate devotees to offer their prayers to the divine soul of Sri Satya Sai Baba on the date of burial of His divine body at Puttaparthy in Prasanthi Nilayam, the State Government is hereby pleased to declare 27 April, 2011 as a public holiday throughout the state of Sikkim.”
The holiday has been notified in exercise of the powers conferred by Explanation to section 25 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881 (26 of 1881).

The Return of MG Marg Swallows

GANGTOK: Finally some good news for bird lovers of the capital, the swallows are back. Five recently born chicks can be seen waiting with their beaks open for their parents to fly in food to their nest on the ceiling of GS Agency at MG Marg here in town.
“This is the third year in continuation that the swallows have raised a family in the ceiling of our shop,” informs 58 year old CL Kandoi, the owner of the shop. In 2009 there were four chicks, in 2010 there were another four and this year [2011] there are five chicks, he informs.
“We have been living here in Sikkim for the past 130 years and our family has been running this shop for the past 50-60 years. Earlier the swallows used to come and make their nests. Then they stopped coming, but now again over the last 5-6 years they have started to come back and making their nests and in the last three years they have been hatching their eggs right here,” he further informed.
He further stated that it usually takes the eggs about 15 days to hatch, about another 15 for the chicks to learn how to fly and after few days of practice, they take off.

Management students study implementation and impact of MGNREGA and ecotourism in Sikkim, conclude impressed

GANGTOK: “Implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes in Sikkim is satisfactory. With better monitoring through improved planning modules, these schemes will have cent per cent impact.” This is one of the key findings of a study undertaken by four students from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, who were here on a six-week “Development of Corporate Citizenship” (DOCC) internship of their university. The students covered areas ranging from public-policy to ecotourism in Sikkim.
Two of them, Pradeep Tewani and Anubhav Agarwal, interned with Lok Sabha MP, PD Rai and assessed the impact of centrally sponsored schemes in Sikkim. The duo carried out an impact assessment exercise on Central Government schemes like Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme [MPLADS] and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act [MGNREGA].
Speaking to NOW!, Mr. Tewani said, “During the field studies, we interacted with various government officials and rural people involved and impacted by these schemes. Also, we studied the effect of these schemes on Sikkim and its people.”

“Regional Parties and their efficacy in advancing Nation Building”

Keynote lecture delivered by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at Jamia Milia Islamia on 25 April, 2011
I am thankful to the Jamia Milia Islamia for the invitation extended to me to speak on the subject “Regional Parties and their efficacy in advancing Nation Building”, which is appropriate and has gained prominence now in the Indian political discourse. Our Country is so vast and diverse that it is virtually impossible to reach out to every nook and corner. The ethos and the social fabric of each corner of the country thus remain unheard of or unattended to. Our forefathers have designed the Constitution well, where the hopes and aspirations of all citizens can be transformed into reality within its framework.
The Sikkim Democratic Front Party, of which I am the Founding President, is governing the State of Sikkim for the last seventeen years. The people have reposed confidence in my party in overwhelming terms. I respectfully bow to this honour. My commitment has been to rise to their expectations as their first servant to improve their quality of life. I am relentlessly pursuing this goal with all the energy and enthusiasm at my command. Since the people are the masters, we can go full course to take all possible measures in socio-cultural upliftment on all issues falling under the State Subjects in the Constitution of India. Therefore, duly advancing and ensuring an environment of social equity, equality of access to rights and opportunities with particular focus on the welfare of the weaker sections.
I am, therefore, fully aware that I might be better positioned to make a claim that Regional Parties do, in fact, have greater leverage and innovation in advancing effective nation building. I might also intertwine regional parties with smaller States.

Christian Literary conference held at Ranka

GANGTOK: A conference on Christian literature seeking to provide a platform to budding writers was convened at Logos Centre in Ranka on 23 April by “Unmukti’, a Christian family magazine.
Rajesh Lulam from Darjeeling, present as the chief guest, passed on tips for upcoming writers, while TB Rai of Tadong Evangelical Presbyterian Church presented a critique on writings presented by various writers, informs a press release.
Emmanual Gift, editor, ‘Unmukti’, remarked that the conference was of “great help for budding writers”.
Some of the writers who presented their works at the meeting were Shyam Subba, Patras Gurung, Peter Nepal, Santosh Mothey, Silas Rai, Manoj Kumar Bungchen, Bassa Lepcha, Sanjay Kachap, Dhruba Subba, Panchalal Lohar, Mangyal Lepcha, Rupa Tamang, Pushpa Kechap and Rajani Mothe, the release adds.

Sikkim bags two awards at National Panchayati Raj Day celebrations

GANGTOK, 25 April: Melli Dara Paiyong Gram Panchayat Unit has been conferred with Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar 2011. The award, instituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, was received by the president of the GPU, Ganesh K Rai, at a special function held in New Delhi on Sunday to commemorate National Panchayati Raj Day.
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj had declared the period from 02 October 2009 to 02 October 2010 as Year of the Gram Sabha and those Gram Panchayats which conducted Gram Sabha in excellent manner were awarded.

Rs. 1.19 crore building dedicated for Modern School

GANGTOK, 25 April: A new building, constructed at the cost of Rs. 1.19 crore was added to the Modern Secondary School campus at Tathangchen today.
The new building was inaugurated by the HRD Minister, NK Pradhan, and the Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly, KT Gyaltsen, who also happens to be the area MLA.
The three-storied RCC building has an auditorium on the top floor. The construction began on 10 February 2009 and was completed on 10 March 2011.

Plan Development With Eye on Worst Case Scenarios


On 26 April in 1986, the world’s worst nuclear fallout took place at Chernobyl in USSR. It was not a nuclear bomb that released radiation several times higher than the atom bombs detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but a peaceful nuclear power plant. Most people have forgotten Chernobyl and to jog memories a bit, it is worth recording that Chernobyl had state of the art [even by present standards] safety mechanisms in place. The whole incident was a horrific accident; an experiment that went wrong with no mala fide intent. The tsunami in Japan rolled back just as suddenly as it had swept in, but more than a month down the line, the horror of nuclear radiation [from a power plant again] continues to grow more nightmarish. No one will argue with the fact that Japan sets the bar on ‘state-of-the-art’ and would have deployed it at its nuclear reactors. And still they leaked.
The reason remembering Chernobyl and learning from Japan makes sense in Sikkim is because the State too is on a heightened development mode.

CM launches Sikkim Studies programme at Jamia Millia Islamia

NEW DELHI, 25 April [IPR]: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was at the Jamia Millia Islamia today where he delivered the keynote address on “Regional Parties and their efficacy in advancing Nation Building” and also launched the Sikkim Studies Programme at the university. [turn to pg 2 for complete keynote address]
Prof. Najeeb Jung, Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, in his introductory remarks, accepted that knowledge about Sikkim as well as the north eastern states has been rather sketchy and expressed hope that the Sikkim Studies Programme at his institute would improve knowledge on Sikkim.
The Vice Chancellor requested the Chief Minister to depute one Professor, Reader or Lecturer from Sikkim to the University so that the Studies Series program could be further strengthened. The Vice Chancellor further said that “something different” was happening in Sikkim that all must know about this and that the Sikkim Studies Programme would assist in this understanding.
Summing up the day’s session, Sanjoy Hazarika, Director, Centre for NE Studies, appreciated the suggestion of the Chief Minister to substitute the word ‘Sindh’ with ‘Sikkim’ in the National Anthem, which, he said, would be another contribution of the people of the State to the entire nation. This, he stressed, should be taken note of by one and all.

Singtam Baibiyalo felicitates Bijayata Baraily, introduces talent from Chaujachen-Dalapchand

SINGTAM, 25 April: The 33rd edition of the Singtam Basibiyalo featured the felicitation of actress Bijayata Baraily for her “marvellous performance” in her debut film, “Angalo Yo Maya Ko”. The Basibiyalo met at the community hall here on Sunday. A colourful cultural program saw performers from Singtam, Chujachen and students of Upper Dalapchand Secondary School entertaining the crowds.
Singtam Basibiyalo has become a well received and well attended monthly event at Singtam. Performers from different corners of the state aspire to participate and perform in it.
Mohan Pradhan “Neeraj”, speaking on the occasion yesterday, thanked all members and well wishers for supporting him and his Singtam Basibiyalo.

Sikkim BJP demands “immediate investigation” into corruption allegations against CM and SDF leaders

GANGTOK: The Sikkim-unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has announced plans to organize a 12-hour hunger-strike within 30 days if the concerned central and state agencies, petitioned by it, did not initiate immediate action against the corruption charges leveled by the party against the Chief Minister and other leaders of the Sikkim Democratic Front [SDF], whom, the Sikkim BJP has accused of ‘embezzling’ Rs. 6,254 crore.
In a document submitted to different leaders and constitutional office-bearers at the State and the national level, the Sikkim BJP has accused the ruling party of causing “unprecedented loss of revenue on account of corrupt practice of the Sikkim Government”. This, the party has based on observations included in the latest CAG Report.
The Sikkim BJP president, Padam Bahadur Chettri, addressing a press conference here at the party’s head office at Tadong today, alleged that the SDF government has not disclosed details of the “up-front” money received from the many power project developers. He alleges that this amount which should go to the state exchequer has been deposited into ‘personal accounts’ in foreign banks.
The BJP has contended there has been unprecedented corruption in Sikkim which “far exceeds the entire annual plan outlay of Rs. 1400 crores”.

Govt drafting Bill for stronger Labour protection

GANGTOK: Very soon, Sikkim will have its own Labour Protection Act, the drafting of which has already begun, informs BM Ramudamu, vice-president of All Sikkim Democratic Labour Front.
Speaking to NOW!, Mr. Ramudamu said, “The Act will be called Sikkim Labour Protection Act, 2011 and will be implemented along with the Sikkim Labour Protection Act  2005 [Amendment].”
Explaining the reasons behind introducing the new Act, he said, “The existing Act was an amendment version of the Central Labour Act and some of the clauses which favour Sikkim’s labourers are missing in the Act.”
According to him, the new Act will be drafted keeping in mind the protection of the old laws of Sikkim and also cover labour related issues like bonus and other welfare schemes, which are missing in the old laws.
When asked about the completion period of drafting of the new law, the ASDLF vice-president said, “It comes under the 100 days task project announced by the Chief Minister around a week back.”

Bhutan United out-shoots Penden Cement to lift CM’s archery Gold Cup

GANGTOK: Bhutan United lifted the twelfth edition of the Chief Minister’s Archery Gold Cup today, outplaying fellow archers from Bhutan, Penden Cement at the Sikkim Archery Association archery field at Tathangchen.
In a very tightly played final match, Bhutan United emerged victorious 42-38.
The final match had Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly, KT Gyaltsen, as the chief guest, accompanied by the Sports Minister, NK Pradhan, as the guest of honour, and PHE Minister, TT Bhutia, who is also the SAA president.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Himalayan Leaders’ Networking Ministry organises blood donation camp

NAMCHI, 24 April: Himalayan Leaders’ Networking Ministry, Namchi. organized a blood donation camp here at the district hospital on Saturday in observance of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Seventeen volunteers of the Ministry donated blood at the District Blood Bank here. Among the donors were Bimla Bhutia, Sabina Chettri, Bimla Pradhan, Sushila Rai, Zacchharia Rai, Raj Kumari Subba,Rebecca Pradhan, Grason Rai, Pratima Rai, Ganesh Pradhan, Aruna Rai,Sukra Lepcha, Bimla Rai, Johndeep Rai, Ruben Ranpal and Krishna Chettri.
HLNM, Namchi, has been organising this camp on an annual basis at Namchi since its establishment in 2009.
The Ministry was represented at the blood donation camp by Pastor Prem Das, Pastor Patrus Rai, Pastor Jeewan Rai and Daya Bagdas.

Sikkim mourns passing away of Sri Sathya Sai Baba

GANGTOK, 24 April: Sai Bhakts throughout the State mourned the passing away of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the tears brought on by the initial shock soon made way for somber prayers as the “Baba’s” followers returned to his teachings on the impermanence of life and realized that he would always remain among them through his teachings. His followers then spent the day in prayer and public bhajans.
The two major Sai Mandirs in the capital, one at  Baluakhani and the other at 5th Mile Tadong, held  daylong prayers as the devout came together to help alleviate their sense of collective loss. These gatherings started growing as news of the Baba’s demise spread.

Rotarians undertake cleaning mission at Shanti Sthal

GANGTOK, 24 April: The Rotarians of Rotary Club of Gangtok and South, along with members of Inner Wheel Club of Gangtok, organised a ‘Safai Abhiyan’ at Shanti Sthal, the cremation ground at Ranipool.
About a fortnight ago, a group of Rotarians noticed that the floors and side walls at the cremation ground had become very dirty and that the toilets needed cleaning as well. This motivated the Rotarians to undertake the cleaning mission on Friday, informs a press release.
The Shanti-Sthall was constructed in 1993-94 by the Gangtok Rotary Club and handed-over to the UD&HD which has kept a chowkhidar there but it is mostly the Rotary Club that takes care of the maintenance of the area from time to time, the release adds.
A total of 15 members took part in this Abhiyan.

North Eastern Rockers returns with national competition

GANGTOK, 24 April: “North Eastern Rockers (NER)”, the only national rock music fest-cum-competition hosted in Sikkim, is back after nearly three years. This year’s edition has 12 top rock acts participating from New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Darjeeling and Sikkim, informs a press release.
North Eastern Rockers, an event put together by “The Alpine Attitude”, an event-management company based in Sikkim, has shortlisted 12 rock bands based on their demos. They are: ‘What Escapes Me’ – Kolkata, ‘Da Primitive Future’ – Darjeeling, ‘Future History’ – Gangtok, ‘Devoid of Dreams’ – Guwahati, ‘Cynical Recess’ – Kolkata, ‘Burnout Syndrome’ – Kolkata, ‘Psychotic Suicide’ – Namchi, ‘Purple Asparagus’ – Kolkata, ‘Sinister Violence’ – Darjeeling, ‘The Mangalz’ - New Delhi, ‘Circle's End’ – Darjeeling and ‘Dark Murder Scheme’ – Darjeeling.

750 patients attended to at AAI health camp at Pakyong

GANGTOK, 24 April: The Airports Authority of India’s [AAI] “Kalyanmayee” organisation organised its 5th free health check-up camp at the Pakyong Primary Health Centre (PHC) on Saturday. The health camp was inaugurated by Chief Secretary ND Chingapa.
A total of 750 patients from Damlakha, Dikling, Karthok, Chalamthang, Pachey, Gangchung, Mamring, Same Sam Singh, Naya Basti, Dugalakha, Pademchey etc were registered for the health camp, informs a press release.

AKRS plans 2-day Sakewa celebrations in May

GANGTOK, 24 April: The Akhil Kirat Rai Sangh Sikkim has announced plans to organise a 2-day celebration of the Rai festival of Sakewa on 22 and 23 May. This was decided at an AKRS meeting held at the South District Administrative Centre conference hall  on Friday. The meeting was chaired by Tea Board chairperson Gagan Rai accompanied by the Namchi-Singhithang MLA, Binod Rai, informs an AKRS press release.

Mission Hospital opens ‘virtual OPD’ in Gangtok

GANGTOK, 24 April: The Mission Hospital of Durgapur, West Bengal, opened a Telemedicine and Information Centre here at the Somani Building, MG Marg today. The centre was inaugurated by Dr K Bhandari, Director General, Health Services.
Speaking to media persons, Dr Bhandari informed that Mission Hospital was one of the 14 hospitals across the country empanelled with the Government of Sikkim.

Parbing-Doban meets to sustain Nirmal Gram status

NAMCHI, 24 April: An awareness programme on Rural Sanitation for the “sustainability of Nirmal Gram” status was held at Parbing Secondary School, South Sikkim on Saturday. The programme was organized by the Parbing Doban Gram Panchayat Unit under the ‘Total Sanitation Campaign’ and was attended by students, teachers and parents of the school.

Panchayat Day observed with appeal for more soul searching

GANGTOK, 24 April: The Zilla Adhyaksha [East], Bimal Dawadi, commented today that many of the Panchayats have still not understood the importance of Gram Sabhas and do not have the clear concept about it. Gram Sabhas, he stressed, are platforms to prioritise development projects as per the felt-needs and should hence build consensus on what was necessary and practical to be taken up first. Reducing these meetings to register all demands possible, reduced the effectiveness of delivery and confused priorities, he said.

South Sikkim evaluates village tourism performance and plans ahead

NAMCHI, 24 April: The annual meeting of the South Sikkim Tourism Development Society (SSTDS) was held here at Dak Bungalow today. The meeting discussed many issues and agendas related with development of tourism in different parts of the District with primary focus on village tourism.
The meeting was attended by the SSTDS president Gagan Rai, general secretary Himal Tamang, other members of the executive body and representatives from various village tourism societies of South District.
A detailed report on village tourism was presented by members of the respective areas, followed by a discussion on what could be done for the problems being faced by them.

All-Bhutan finals for CM’s Archery Gold Cup

GANGTOK, 24 April: Two teams from Bhutan will take on each other in the final match of the 12th Chief Minister’s Gold Cup Archery Tournament here at the Sikkim Archery Association [SAA] archery field on Monday.
The final match will be played between Bhutan United [Pheuntsoling] and Penden Cement [Gomtu]. Bhutan United defeated Kabi-Lungchok, 50-34, in the semi-final match, while in other semi-final match Penden Cement beat Tathangchen Dapen, 54-10.
The final match will have the Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly, KT Gyaltsen, as the chief guest, while Sports and Youth Affairs Minster, NK Pradhan, will attend as the guest of honour.

Pathologists and Microbiologists meet for annual conference

GANGTOK, 24 April: The 22nd Annual Conference of the North East Chapter of the Indian Association of Pathologists and Microbiologist organized by the Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Hospital, was inaugurated here on Saturday by the Minister, Human Resource Development Department, NK Pradhan.

Mangan’s jhoras unclogged

MANGAN, 24 April: A massive 3-day cleanness drive was undertaken in Mangan bazaar by the Mangan Nagar Panchayat. All jhoras and drains falling under the Mangan Nagar Panchayat were cleaned in three days starting Thursday and concluding on Saturday. All the ward councilors were directed to get the jhoras and drains in their respective wards cleared ahead of the monsoon. They were assisted in this effort by members of the local business community and youth of the town area.

Young lawyers complete SLSA orientation

GANGTOK, 24 April: The Valedictory function of the “Orientation-cum- Training Programme for lawyers [with upto 4 years of practice]” organized by the Sikkim State Legal Service Authority [SSLSA] was held at Chintan Bhawan on Saturday. More than 60 practicing lawyers attended the orientation programme.
Justice SP Wangdi [Judge, High Court of Sikkim and Executive Chairman, Sikkim State Legal Service Authority], the chief guest, while addressing the gathering pointed out that a lawyer plays a pivotal role in society as they are there to serve the people in need of legal help and rendering justice to the people without any bias. “Lawyers are responsible members of the society who can bring a change in a society,” stressed Justice Wangdi.