Gangtok, 14 Apr [IPR]: The 128th birth anniversary of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was celebrated at State Legislative Assembly followed by a special programme at Chintan Bhawan today. The function was organized by the Social Justice Empowerment and Welfare Department in coordination with All Sikkim Scheduled Caste Welfare Association.
Governor Ganga Prasad was present as the chief guest accompanied by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling as the guest of honour.
The Governor and the Chief Minister started the programme by garlanding the statue of Dr Ambedkar at the Sikkim Legislative Assembly complex. They then visited stalls put up by various colleges at Chintan Bhawan.
President, All Sikkim Scheduled Caste Welfare Association, Shekhar Sewa, presented the welcome address after which Bhimbandhana was performed by the students of Modern School and Tashi Namgyal Senior Secondary School.
In his address, the Governor delved on the essence of the thoughts and philosophy of Dr Ambedkar and reminded the audience about how Dr Ambedkar led a number of social movements to secure human rights for the oppressed sections of the society and worked to abolish caste discrimination and untouchability.
“He was also a sociologist and contributed much to the discussions of various social problems,” the Governor added.
He urged the gathering to follow the principles espoused by Dr Ambedkar towards eradication of social inequality and heralding human equality and liberation of minds to understand human reforms.
He also asked the students to draw inspirations from his ideas and action. He Governor stressed that Dr Ambedkar fought for the wellbeing of all in society and that we must all strive to bring uniformity in the society.
The Chief Minister congratulated the organizing committee for organizing a successful function and called upon the people to think beyond caste for the betterment of the State.
He also appreciated the committee’s gesture of felicitating former Minister, Neru Sewa, and Nilesh Lamichanay and urged the young, especially students, to take full advantage of the facilities provided by the Government.
He also advised the All Sikkim Scheduled Caste Welfare Association to open a Dalit Sahitya Library to record and share the real essence of their history and culture.
He appealed to the gathering to bring a change in society by following the principles laid down by Dr Ambedkar and infuse at least one principle of Baba Saheb in the life of their children. This, he said, would give moral satisfaction to parents and enable the children to understand the importance of respect for elders and the society.
He also emphasized on the principles of oneness and equality in the state and the need to follow unity and a common goal for the upliftment of the community.
Let’s all work together to make Sikkim a better State, he added.
On the occasion, the All Sikkim Scheduled Caste Welfare Association felicitated Ms. Sewa for being the first woman Minister from the Schedule Caste community and Nilesh Lamichanay for his achievements in the field of cricket.
Also on the occasion, the All Sikkim Scheduled Caste Welfare Association website, www.asscwa.org.com was launched by the Governor.
Ambedkar Scholarship students were congratulated and offered khadas by the Governor.
Rajni Khati and Arnika Khati, granddaughters of the late Purna Bahadur Khati donated Rs 30,000 and announced that they would donate the amount every year to add to this scholarship.
A short film on the life of Dr Ambedkar by IPR Department was also screened.
The function was also attended by Dr K Jayakumar, Additional Chief Secretary, Raj Bhawan; K. Srinivaulu, Principal Secretary Social Justice Empowerment and Welfare Department; BM Ramudamu, former Minister, Advisor All Sikkim Scheduled Caste Welfare Association; Heads of Departments, students and other officials of the State Government.