Monday, May 9, 2011

Audience treated to ‘magical’ experience with Dawa’s “Ritual Journeys”

GANGTOK, 08 May: Dawa Tshering Lepcha’s poignant portrayal of the life and tasks of Meryak Lepcha, an 80-year-old Padim [Bongthing] of Dzongu, premiered to a packed audience here at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology on Saturday.
The 75-minute ethnographic documentary film was released by Padmashree Keepu T Lepcha, respected as “Nekung” by those who know her, and even as Dawa and the anthropologist consultant for the project, Anna Balicki Denjongpa, were initially anxious about the attendance their film would attract, as show-time approached, they could not fit in enough chairs to accommodate everyone who had turned up - there was not even standing space left in the hall yesterday.
Once the lights dimmed, Meyrak, the protagonist of the film, held the audience spell-bound with his affable charm, commitment to the people and his gift and the witty conversations he kept up with Dawa behind the camera.

No MLA recommendations required for loans, SBS clarifies

GANGTOK, 08 May: The State Bank of Sikkim, in a press release issued through the IPR Department, has clarified that unlike alleged, the bank was not insisting on MLA recommendations to process loan applications of government employees.
The Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee, it may be recalled, has issued a strong statement alleging that the bank had introduced such a regime and condemning the bank and the State Government for it.
A rejoinder conveyed by the IPR Department on Saturday, states: “The State Bank of Sikkim has clarified that for the Employees Personal Loan given by the State Bank of Sikkim recommendation of the MLA is not insisted upon and the recommendation is neither pre-requisite nor sufficient condition for Employees Personal Loan from the Bank.”

Beautification of Chungthang Leydo underway

This is in reference to the article “Chungthang's Sacred Paddy Field Needs Upkeep” published in your newspaper dated 4th of May 2011, wherein a respected social activist has stated that the Leydo and the paddy field has been neglected by the Government and the Monastery Committee and subjected to defilement.
In this regard, the undersigned would like to inform all that the State Government has sanctioned a project for the “Beautification of the Chungthang Leydo” under Border Area Development Plan for the year 2010-11. The project is being undertaken by the Tourism Department.
Further, the Chungthang Monastery Committee has decided to begin cultivation of paddy in the sacred field from this year after the meeting held on 30th April 2011. The cleaning of the field and its preparation for plantation was done on 3rd May 2011.
Cleaning of religious and public places by any individual or members is taken as a social service which is welcomed by all and no objection in this regard will be made.
SDM, Chungthang 

USFC hits winning stride, comes back from a goal down to win again

GANGTOK, 08 May: The USFC fighting spirit is expressing itself strong with the team, under pressure to win all its matches to break into the I-League, bouncing back from a goal down to surge past the strong Southern Samity [Kolkata] challenge in Shillong today in the final round of second division I-League. Bhaichung’s United Sikkim Football Club qualified for the second division only this season is now in the third position in the qualifiers from which the top-two will break into the main I-League this season.
Southern Samity went down 2-1 to USFC today.
Southern Samity tok an early lead today, its strikers breaking through the USFC defense marshaled by Bhaichung himself as stopper in the 14th minute itself. The playing conditions were difficult as the accompanying photograph of players covered in mud will bear out. It has been raining hard in Shillong and the slushy ground makes for difficult ball control.
The USFC team, however, kept its wits around and kept the Southern Samity defence under constant pressure, breaking through finally from the boots of Beikhokhei in the 43rd minute. The first half ended with the score level. Beikhokhei was all over the field today, a persistence which won him the man of the match honour today.
As the match drew to a close, USFC was staring at the possibility of another draw, a scoreline which stayed with it for the first three matches until it broke free with a 1-0 win against Md. Sporting in its last outing.
The last quarter also saw Bhaichung spring what is now becoming his signature move for the tournament – moving from stopper to striker. This sharpened the USFC attack and stretched out the Southern Samity defense thin enough to create stronger openings.

TNA alumni cheers for USFC

The United Sikkim Football Club, battling in the final round of the I-League qualifiers received strong support from home in Shillong today with the TNA Alumni Association executive members arriving in the capital of Meghalaya to cheer Bhaichung [a TN alumni himself] and his club. The club has hit a winning streak, completing two wins in a row after three draws, their success buoyed by the welcome cheerleading group from home today. The Meghalaya Football Association extended a warm welcome to the TNA Alumni members, inviting the TNAAA sports secretary, Jigmey Namgyal, to give away the man of the match award at the field today [accompanying pic]. The TNAA team consisted of Mr. Namgyal, Tashi Lhamu, Yogendra Sharma, Tseten Dorjee, Bhupendra Chettri and Norbu Dadul.

Unfortunately, Real Life is Not Subtitled


“Ritual Journeys”, a documentary film on Meryak, a Lepcha Padim of Dzongu, premiered on Saturday to an audience which might have come in out of goodwill for the filmmaker, but returned deeply moved and highly impressed with the consummate craft and sensitivity with which the movie has been put together. By the time the final credits rolled, it was clear to all in the audience that the movie was special, a quality which must have come through for the jury at the Royal Institute of Anthropology in London to select it under the “intangible cultures” category for its prestigious international ethnographic film festival.
The spontaneous applause that the filmmaker, Dawa Lepcha, received before the screening was testament to the respect he commands for his selfless sacrifices for Dzongu through his hydel-protest, and the ovation which erupted after the final credits rolled was in celebration of his adroitness as a sensitive filmmaker. Dawa explained that the movie was as much to record a way of life which could end with the 80-year-old protagonist of his movie, as it was about convincing the young to approach their heritage with more respect and inquisitiveness. “Speak to your grandparents, hear their stories,” Dawa appealed to the audience made up largely of Lepcha youth but not exclusively so. This appeal, he clarified, was for all youth, not just Lepchas, because traditions, rituals and heritage were fading away because of inexcusable disinterest among the young; a disinterest probably caused by a huge communication gap which is also accelerating the extinction of the old ways. The movie, even though it is about a way of life on the ebb, makes no attempts at romanticising anything, and this is what works for it best and makes it such a powerful film. It also breaks the language barrier with its English subtitles which speak fluently to the audience. The film is Dawa’s labour of love – he filmed Meryak over seven years – and the audience receives a moving insight through it.

Denzong Albrew to brew Kingfisher beer, eyes Beer Tourism potential as well

GANGTOK, 08 May: Denzong Albrew Pvt. Ltd. situated at Darpaney on Rongli Road at Rhenock in East Sikkim has started production of Kingfisher Beer in technical collaboration with United Breweries Ltd. of Dr. Vijay Mallya.
Kalyan Ganguly, president & Managing Director of United Breweries, accompanied by Cedric Vaz, Executive Vice President- Manufacturing and C. Gourishankar, Divisional Vice President (East), visited the plant last Thursday, a press release informs.
The brewery is proposed to expand capacity of 1,50,000 HL to 3,00,000 HL per annum to cater the growing market in the Northeastern states, West Bengal and Bhutan, the release adds.

98 students play hard at 3-day Inter-School chess tourney

GANGTOK, 08 May: Ninety-eight students representing twenty schools from across the State are taking part in the 1st Inter-School Open Chess Tournament which got underway here at the Army School, Deorali, on Saturday.
The tournament is being organised by the Army School under the guidance of the Sikkim Chess Association [SCA] and was inaugurated by the Principal, Army School, Krishna CC, and the SCA general secretary, Mahendra Dhakal.
The tournament is following the Swiss League System under which every participant plays seven rounds, accumulating points which will decide the victors.

CSWB chairperson meets NGO reps and officials, assures of positive changes in the offing

GANGTOK, 08 May: Prema Carriappa, Chairperson, Central Social Welfare Board [CSWB], New Delhi, who is on a three-day state visit, today admitted that even she was unhappy with the miserly remuneration of Rs. 1,000 per month for the Ayas of crèche centres being run under the Rajiv Gandhi National Crèche Programme, by  local NGOs through the State Social Welfare Board [SSWB].
Answering queries during an interaction session with members of NGOs, Ms. Carriappa said, “For the last three years, I have been constantly fighting with the concerned Ministry to hike the remuneration of the Ayas, and I hope that this will come to effect in the days to come.”

ASESE&UA to organise career guidance programme

GANGTOK, 08 May: The All Sikkim Educated Self-Employed & Unemployed Association [ASESE&UA] has announced plans to organise a career guidance programme on 14 May at Janta Bhawan here next Saturday. The programme is being held on the theme, “guide Sikkimese youth towards self reliance” and seeks to address the problem of unemployment in Sikkim.
Addressing a press conference today, the ASESE&UA president, Nawin Kiran, informed that the second-Saturday event will be an “introductory symposium” to inform the youth of the various government programmes and schemes available for unemployed youth in Sikkim.
Unemployment, he maintained, was a serious and continuing problem which would require the collective effort of all Sikkimese to solve.

Education of First Generation Students

Almost in all underdeveloped and developing countries, educating the first generation is a great challenge. Who are the people belonging to the first generation? Those who are receiving formal education for the first time in the family can be called first generation students. There is also a degree of difference with reference to the level of education (primary, secondary and tertiary-under graduate, post graduate and doctoral degree) of the immediate parents.
Very often, educators get frustrated with first generation students. They don’t have self initiative in the learning process, lack of motivation and interest, high level of fatigue, poor retention, less exposure to mass media etc. Home environment is not always conducive for learning, lack of self discipline and prone to bad habits may even have anti-social behaviour. What else the teacher requires to get frustrated? If you are a frustrated teacher there are some other reasons also to point out. In psychology all these come under defense mechanism.

STTA convenes 15th AGM, resolves to continue participation in national events

GANGTOK, 08 May: The 15th annual general meeting of the Sikkim Table Tennis Association [STTA] was convened today at the Paljor Stadium conference hall. The meeting was chaired by the STTA president, CK Basnet, and attended by executive members of the association.
The meeting discussed several agendas, passed various resolutions and also amended various rules of the association’s constitution.
At the meeting, expenses incurred in the last financial year in conducting various tournaments and sending teams to national and regional tournaments were placed and was passed by the executive members.
The association also endorsed the proposal to organise the 16th edition of the State Open Table Tennis championship in a grand manner shortly in a range of 18 events from cadets to veteran.