Sikkim liberates itself from illiteracy on Independence Day


We are now the first fully literate State in the country, Chief Minister informs


Gangtok, 15 Aug (IPR): Sikkim welcomed the 72nd Independence Day with the declaration of the State of Sikkim as the first fully literate State in the country, surpassing the State of Kerala. Chief Minister Pawan Chamling made this historic declaration at the State level Independence Day Celebration at Paljor Stadium on 15 Aug. It was reported that the Literacy Mission was carried out jointly by National Literacy Mission Authority, Government of India, and State Literacy Mission Authority under HRDD, Government of Sikkim. To celebrate the accomplishment, students of West Point Senior Secondary School presented a song titled ‘Pavitra Kranti’, based on the Literacy Mission. The programme began with the CM unfurling the National flag, followed by National salute and review of the Independence Day parade. The parade comprised of 18 contingents and four bands. The celebration began with the march-past by Para Military forces, Sikkim Police [Male and Female], National Cadet Corps, School contingents from various schools from the capital, Army and Police Bands. The All-Girls Band of West Point Senior Secondary School, the first all-girls band to perform in the State level Independence Day Parade, made a mark with their display. In his address, Mr Chamling extended his greetings to the people of Sikkim and the nation. He paid his tribute on the demise of former Member of Rajya Sabha and Ambassador of India to Mangolia, late Karma Topden, and also mourned for the untimely passing away of Members of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, late Laxuman Lepcha and late Gopal Lamichaney. He also expressed heartfelt condolence on the passing away of two stalwarts of Indian politics, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, late M Karunanidhi, and former Speaker Lok Sabha and long term Member of Parliament, late Somnath Chatterjee. While addressing the gathering, the CM expressed that it took Sikkim decades to overcome the political irony of the initial years of democracy and that it was only after the formation of the present government that Democracy in its true form was established in Sikkim. “Sikkim of today stands tall in India because of the collective efforts of the public and the State Government and that this legacy of rapid development and pride should be carried forward together. The last 24 years of governance has been most rewarding. Sikkim today is one of the most progressive and vibrant States in the country. Over the years Sikkim government has set up many policy initiatives and have introduced and implemented them with finesse,” he added. Speaking on Sikkim becoming a fully literate State, the CM stated that it was possible due to the efforts of teachers, guardians and the students themselves. He also attributed the success to the priority laid by the Government towards education. He reiterated that the vision of his Government is to impart holistic education to children with an aim to make them ready for life. “The State endeavours to move ahead in development with total focus on its mission to serve the State and its people. We have witnessed phenomenal changes in various fields of development and today Sikkim is the best State in the country,” he stated. The CM highlighted on the progress made by Sikkim in the fields of education, tourism, environment, social justice, agriculture and horticulture, health and the rural development sector. He also made a specific mention of the many initiatives that Sikkim has been a pioneer of such as the first State to initiate organic farming, the state to provide free education up to college level, free medical education amongst many other achievements, and free HPV Vaccination for girls between age group of 9-14 girls. Outlining the numerous steps taken by the Government for the welfare and upliftment of women, the CM also announced an enhancement in the job reservation to women to 33%. While directing his address to the students in the audience, the CM informed them about the educational policies of the State Government and reiterated the State Government’s commitments towards fulfilling the educational aspirations of the young students. He also called upon the youths to come forward and utilize the opportunities and benefits provided to them through the Chief Minister’s Start-Up Scheme. In conclusion, he urged the Sikkimese people to refrain from falling prey to rumours and hearsay and instil faith in the progress and success of the policies of the State Government which are there for everyone to see.