Gangtok, 19 Dec (IPR): Chairperson, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Dr Nand Kumar Sai, along with other members and senior officers of the Commission convened a meeting with Chief Secretary SC Gupta and Heads of concerned departments at Tashiling Secretariat here today.
The NCST team is on a five-day visit to Sikkim from 15–20 Dec.
At the onset, the Chief Secretary welcomed the NCST delegation to Sikkim and hoped that the meeting will conclude as a positive development for the betterment of Scheduled Tribes and all other sections of the society.
During the meeting, Dr Sai and other members interacted with the HoDs on various issues related to safeguards, protection and welfare programmes being implemented by the State government for Scheduled Tribes.
Addressing the gathering, Additional Chief Secretary, HRDD, GP Upadhyaya, briefed the delegation about the various schemes and facilities for Sikkimese students including the implementation of post-matric scholarship scheme being provided by the Government of India for ST students.
While appreciating the progress made by students under the post-matric scholarship, he also raised concerns over some students often quitting studies owing to significant increase in the cost of living.
He urged the Commission to take into consideration the proposal of increasing the amount of living expense awarded to students pursuing studies under this scholarship outside Sikkim.
The Commission assured to discuss the issue with the Central Government and the concerned Ministry positively in order to deliberate upon a solution at the earliest.
Dr Sai highlighted concerns raised by Chief Minister, PS Tamang (Golay) on the increase in the rate of Cancer cases in the State of Sikkim during their meeting the previous day.
He directed the Health Department to conduct a detailed survey on the incidence and prevalence of Cancer in various parts of the State.
He further informed that the Commission has urged the Power Grid Corporation of India operating in the State to extend financial support to the State government in the form of CSRs in order to fight against Cancer.
The Commission appreciated the State for its forest safety provisions, sports facilities, education system and most importantly for prioritizing and promoting women empowerment among STs.
The Commission members applauded the State government for successfully implementing and promoting educational and economic interests of the STs of Sikkim with special care.
They assured full support to the State government for the development of the STs and Sikkim and urged all to work in tandem for the progress of the country.
The meeting was also addressed by Principal Secretary, Health, K Sreenivasulu, Secretary, Sports & Youth Affairs, Kuber Bhandari, and other representatives and HoDs of concerned departments
Earlier, a PowerPoint presentation was made by Secretary, Social Welfare Department on various schemes for Scheduled Tribes.