Maneka Gandhi visits shelter homes around Gangtok

Gangtok, 26 Mar [IPR]:

Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, who is on a three-day official visit to the State, made a series of visits to various places in and around Gangtok today.

Ms Gandhi visited the Freedom Shelter Home in Tathangchen where she interacted with individuals who have struggled with substance abuse and psychiatric disorders.

She spoke with them at length and enquired about their counseling, recreation activities, education and recovery process. She suggested that patients could engage themselves in cooking, weaving, gardening, etc, so that they can focus on long term sustainability options for future livelihood. She listened to their inputs and assured all help.

Thereafter, Ms Gandhi visited the ICDS Centre at 2nd Mile where she took stock of the pre-school activities, nutrition and health information of children and interacted with the mothers and staff of the centre.

The Union Minister moved on to the Directorate of Handloom and Handicrafts Center where she applauded the initiatives of the state government in promoting and preserving ethnic arts and crafts of Sikkim. She inspected the traditional handicrafts, handlooms and other products which were on display there.

She also went to the Organic Market at Lal Bazaar area where she took a keen interest in the various vegetables and floriculture produce of the State. Applauding the state government on being the first Organic State of the country, she expressed that the rest of the States should emulate what Sikkim has done.

Ms Gandhi then visited the One Stop Centre at Lumsay which is intended to support women affected by violence. She also inspected the 181 Women Helpline Office and was briefed by the Secretary, Social Justice, Empowerment & Welfare Department, Sarala Rai, about the various initiatives taken by the department to help women affected by violence through referral [linking with appropriate authority such as police, One Stop Centre or hospital, etc.] and information about women related government schemes and programmes.

Finally, the Union Minister visited the adoption centre, Mamtalaya, at Lower Burtuk, wherein she interacted with kids and enquired about the various facilities being provided. She also met children who have been registered under Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System [CARINGS] for adoption.