Sherpa reps not invited to GOAL meeting upsets Sherpa Protection Board

GANGTOK, 25 Jun:

Sikkim Sherpa Protection Board [SSPB] has expressed its displeasure over no representative from the Sherpa community being invited to the stakeholders meeting for Going Online As Leaders [GOAL] conducted by Social Justice and Welfare Department on Wednesday. The organization has urged the State government to immediately clarify its stand on it.

A press release of SSPB joint secretary, Girmey Sherpa alleges arbitrary and discriminatory approach of Social Justice and Welfare Department towards the Sherpa community of Sikkim. The release alleges that the Department intentionally chose to not invite the Sherpa community to attend the stakeholders meet conducted on Wednesday as no intimation or invitation was given to organization of Sherpa community.

“GOAL is the flagship program of Facebook and Ministry of Tribal Affairs, designed to empower tribal youth through mentorship, leadership training, and digital literacy skills. However, the very purpose of flagship program was defeated even before its implementation in Sikkim,” the release alleges.

Sikkim Sherpa Protection Board has written to the Tribal Ministry about the incident, the release mentions.

“Further, we caution Social Justice and Welfare Department and urge them to revisit Scheduled Tribe Order 1978 and clarify themselves about the various Tribal communities of Sikkim. Since, Sherpa Tribal Community of Sikkim were kept out of such crucial meeting, suspicion rises as it could be an intended conspiracy to keep away Sherpa Community from availing the benefits under "Going Online as Leaders" program,” the release adds.