Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sikkim succumbs to embarrassing panic buying frenzy

Gangtok joins embarrassing panic buying spree
GANGTOK, 15 Nov: Catching up late to rumours which originated in Bihar of salt supplies getting constricted, Gangtok witnessed panic buying today. People in the districts and Gangtok were clamoring to buy large supplies of salt. Many now have at least a year’s supply stored at home when there was no need for them to purchase even one packet!
The situation at Lall Bazaar, the busiest market place in Gangtok, turned frenetic in the morning today when rumours spread that salt would be out of supply soon. Such was the panic that in some instances, shopkeepers had to call the police for assistance to keep the panic buyers in check even as allegations and counter rumours of hoarding and black marketeering spread.
Government officials from the district administration, GMC, UD&HD accompanied by officials of FS&CA department visited and inspected dozens of shops and several godowns in town this afternoon. 
Although no arrests were made by the joint-inspection team today, DC [East], AK Singh informed that many shopkeepers were questioned on all possibilities of hoarding and maintained that the administration is taking the matter very seriously.
“The shopkeepers were told that they could be booked under the Essential Commodities Act and could also be arrested by the police if prices of essential commodities were hiked owing to such rumours,” stated Mr. Singh. 
He further informed that in Sikkim as per the report of the FS&CA department, there was sufficient stock of salt and that people did not panic unnecessarily. However, he added that some vested interests in such market places were using the rumour to facilitate illegal hoarding of the commodity.
In this regard, he added that as soon as the administration got complaints that some shops in Lall Bazaar had told customers that they had no salt in the shops, the officials intervened and normalized the situation.
“Some shopkeepers told customers that there was no salt in the shop at the time but did not tell them that there was sufficient stock in the godowns. This communication gap also created some panic initially but after the matter was resolved and salt sold to all the customers at the normal price the situation relaxed,” the DC added.
He added that as soon as the administration intervened, the commotion at the market was diffused and salt was sold to all the customers who were lined up.
“We have made it clear that strict action will be taken against anyone selling salt above the notified price and are also ready to raid any premises trying to take advantage of the situation. There is no need to worry about the stock since the state warehouses are completely full of the commodity. There is no crisis and we are closely monitoring and observing all angles of illegal hoarding,” explained the DC.
He also informed that no arrests were made today because no shopkeeper was found to be in gross violation of the Essential Commodities Act, but if any official complaints were made against any shopkeeper indulging in hoarding and black marketing then the administration would take the most stringent steps to curb the same. 
Cops step in to ease panic in North Sikkim
MANGAN, 15 Nov: In North Sikkim, the Superintendent of Police (N), Ramniwas Yadav, inspected the Mangan bazaar to check on the salt supplies and the rates at which it was being sold.
The rumors meanwhile led to some people purchasing sacks of salt containing around 50 kgs of salt each.
Since such panic buying could actually cause a shortage in the area, the SP North personally urged shopkeepers and customers to not encourage such practice. He appealed to shopkeepers and customers to sell and buy salt enough for a single family.
The shopkeepers were also directed by the SP and Food & Civil Supplies department, North district, not to sell salt in huge amounts otherwise legal action would be initiated against both customer and shopkeeper.
2,500 packets sold in Namchi in one day
…AND THERE IS STILL NO SHORTAGE
NAMCHI, 15 Nov: Rumours of the impending shortage of salt supply reached South Sikkim as well today. People in most of the South district towns were seen rushing to shops to stock up on salt. Soon the price of salt escalated selling for as much as Rs 60 per kg for what would normally cost around Rs. 15.
The district administration was alerted and a team headed by SDM Namchi, Karma R Bonpo, DCSO (South) PC Rai and Assistant District Collector visited the shops at Namchi and also alerted the shops of other towns of the district.
The shopkeepers were issued an advisory not to charge more than the printed price and also to sell limited quantities of salt to consumers [to avoid panic-buying induced shortage]. The consumers were also informed that there is no such scarcity of salt in the district and the state as a whole and the Food and Civil Supplies department has adequate stock of salt.
Despite these measures, local residents still flocked to shops to buy extra supplies of salt, “just in case”.
In Namchi, more than 2,500 packets of iodised salt of one kg each were sold today apart from loose salt, it is learnt.  SDM Namchi, Karma R Bonpo blamed rumors in Siliguri for the situation in South district.  He has urged people of the district not to believe in such rumors and panic.
DCSO, South PC Rai said that rumors started early this morning and as soon as the shops opened people started queuing up to buy their stock of salt. An advisory was issued to all the shop owners of the district and consumers were also asked to complain to his office if any shopkeeper was found charging more than the printed price. However, he added, that by evening the situation was under control.
He also informed that at present Namchi still has stock of 1,500 one kg packets of salt each and 185 bags of loose salt containing 50 kgs each. Similarly, Ravangla has 80 quintals of 1 kg packets and 15 bags of loose salt while Jorethang has 250 packets of 1 kg each along with 15 bags of loose salt. Melli also has a good supply of salt and late in the evening more stocks reached the border town, he added.
Reiterating that there is no shortage in salt supplies, DCSO Mr. Rai also informed that as per the daily arrangement more consignments of packaged as well as loose salt is reaching the towns of South district by this evening.

GOVERNOR’S GOLD CUP 2013 UPDATE MMC-Nepal beats Shillong team to enter semifinals

GANGTOK, 15 Nov: Manang Marshyangdi Club [MMC] has entered the semifinal round of the ongoing 34th All India Governor’s Gold Cup Football Tournament 2013 here at Paljor Stadium. In another interesting quarter-final match played today, MMC edged past a tough Royal Wahingdoh FC, Shillong 02-01 in extra time.
There was strong support from locals for MMC in the match today even though it was Royal Wahingdoh which had fielded local lads Karma Lepcha as the goalkeeper and Pema Bhutia in the midfield.
Despite constant attacks and counter-attacks the first half ended goalless.
In the second half, Lalchhwaen Kima of Royal Wahingdoh effected an own-goal [last touch by Deepak Bhusal of MMC] to hand over a lead to MMC. Soon, Royal Wahingdoh’s captain Seityasen Singh scored the equalizer in the 63rd minute. At full time, the score-line was tied at 1-1 and the match was extended for 30 minutes extra-time.
In extra-time, Sujal Shrestha scored the winning goal for MMC in the 107th minute to send his team to the semi-final round of the tournament.
In today’s match, goalkeepers of both teams made some good saves keeping the score-line low.
On Saturday, the third quarter-final match will be played between home team United Sikkim Football Club and Three Star Nepal.

CHIEF MINISTER’S GOLD CUP UPDATE Bhutan XI knocks out Durgapur FC

NAMCHI, 15 Nov: Bhutan XI thrashed Durgapur FC at the ongoing All India Chief Minister’s Gold Cup Football Tournament 2013 being held at Jorethang, South Sikkim today.
The team from Bhutan dominated the match scoring 5 goals against Durgapur FC’s lone goal. Bhutan XI scored all five goals in the first half of the match. D. Methi (8), Jenk (2), Jamshed Ali (7), Doe (10), and Suraj Gurung (15) scored for the team.
The lone goal for Durgapur FC came from the boots of Bobbie Orow (9).
On Saturday, Royal Wahingdoh of Shillong will play IFA from 1.30 pm onwards.

Sikkim Police through to pre-quarters of All India Police Meet Football tourney

GANGTOK, 15 Nov: Sikkim Police has qualified for the pre quarter-final round of the ongoing the 62nd BN Mallick All India Police Meet Football Tournament 2013 at Secundrabad in Andhra Pradesh. In its second qualifying match, Sikkim Police defeated Madhya Pradesh Police 3-1 to qualify for the pre quarter-final round of the tournament.
In today’ match, Shantiram Luitel, Bijay Subba and Karma Lhendup Lepcha scored a goal each for Sikkim Police.
On Saturday, Sikkim Police will take on Assam Police in its last qualifying match.
It may be mentioned here that in its first match on Thursday, Sikkim Police had defeated Jharkhand Police.

Milan Sangh to replace Md Sporting in Governor’s Gold Cup

GANGTOK, 15 Nov: Mohammedan Sporting Club of Kolkata will be replaced by another I-League team, Milan Sangh of Kalighat in the quarterfinal match of the ongoing 34th All India Governor's Gold Cup Football Tournament to be played against Nepal National Youth XI on 17 November.
In a press release, Sikkim Football Association general secretary Menla Ethenpa informs that despite confirming their participation, Md. Sporting Club conveyed its inability to continue in the Governor’s Gold Cup due to their Kolkata League and I-League commitments as well as monetary consideration. The West Bengal club has also stated that their parent body has denied them the permission to leave Kolkata. Earlier, they had confirmed their participation, he states.
“Their revised monetary demand as quoted by them are Rs.6 (six) Lakhs plus Kolkata / Bagdogra / Kolkata flight tickets (approximately another 2(two) Lakhs and Innova Cars for the team sector Bagdogra / Gangtok / Bagdogra plus hotel accommodation for 25 persons in a three star hotel, two days before the first match and one day after the last match”, informs Mr Ethenpa.
Since, SFA could not afford to bring Md. Sporting Club, Kolkata by paying such an exorbitant rate, the executive committee of Sikkim FA decided to replace Md. Sporting Club with another I-League team Milan Sangh, Kalighat, he further informs.

Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour to arrive in Sikkim on 19 Nov, open to public on 25th

GANGTOK, 15 Nov: The Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour wherein sacred relics of the Buddha and Buddhist masters are taken around the world, will be opened to devotees on 25 November at Tsuklakhang here in the palace compound. The relics will be on display for devotees till 01 December.
A meeting of the Relics Exposition Committee was held here to deliberate on preparations for the week-long tour when it is in the State.
It may be informed that the world tour will be in Sikkim from the evening of 19 November, which is also the date when the relics arrive at Bagdogra Airport from Bhutan where the relics have been for the past week.
After Bhutan, where around 65,000 devotees have thronged to see the relics thus far, the relics will make its journey through West Bengal and into Sikkim from Rangpo on 19 November.
At Rangpo check post, the Relics Exposition committee has organized a traditional reception by monks of Phodong Monastery. The relics will be received by members of the exposition committee and representatives of the state government at Bagdogra Airport.
After a rest, the exposition will open with ‘Trhue-sel Rab-ney’ on 24 November. Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is scheduled to be present as chief guest for the opening day, which, as per the organizers, is only for invitees.
The opening day will be attended by senior monks and other dignitaries including VIPs. Prayers will be performed by monks of Tsuklakhang monastery.
The second day, 25 November will see the Relics exposition and darshan which will be open for the general public till 30 November after which the closing ceremony will be held on 01 December.
It may also be informed that other organizations collaborating for the successful tour of the Maitreya Buddha Relics in Sikkim are Sikkim Buddhist Duechen Organization, Sikkim Buddhist Association, Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Association, Denzong Sherpa Buddhist Association, Denzong Lhade Tshogpa, Denzong Tashi Yargey Society, Gurung (Tamu) Buddhist Association, Sikkim Tamang Buddhist Association, Tadong Yargey Association, Machie Remed, Live to Love Association, Yargey Association of Tatangchen and Tulip Social Organization.
The donations collected from the tour will be used for the construction of the 150-ft tall bronze statue of Maitreya Buddha in Bodhgaya in which the relics will be enshrined at the end of the World Tour.
The Relics were collected over many years by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the spiritual founder of the relic tour.

SPLAYED AND STUCK:

 A 48-wheel trailer plying to North Sikkim fails to make the climb at 4th Mile at Lower Mangshila in North Sikkim. Splayed and stuck on the road, the monster vehicle caused a massive traffic jam at the spot today. The trailer heading to Chungthang was carrying supplies to the 1,200 MW Teesta Stage V HE Project site there, it is informed.

Three-day VWSC training in Namthang

GANGTOK, 15 Nov: Three-day training on water security planning and village action plan for Village Water and Sanitation Committee [VWSC] under National Rural Drinking Water Programme was organized by Gram Vikas Kendra, Namthang in collaboration with Communication & Capacity Development unit here at the KVK,Conference hall.
A press release informs that the training was attended by six GPUs, VWSC members including SHG, ASHA, retired government employees,RDAs and NGO representatives.
The programme was inaugurated by Gram Vikas Adhikari, Robin Sewa, who spoke on the role and responsibility of VWSC at the village level and the importance for preparation of village water security plan.
Field Facilitator, BAC Namthang, Karna Bahadur Chettri gave a power point presentation onthe National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and highlighted the importance of water quality and public health.
The programme was also addressed by resource person, Project coordinator CCDU,SIRD, CB Manger on the challenges of ensuring the quality of Rural Water supply scheme as well as the current situation of rural drinking water supply in Sikkim and the role of VWSC at the Gram panchayat level.
The key resource person Field Facilitator Namchi GVK, Sangeeta Pradhan gave a power point presentation and spoke about the need to prepare a village water security plan as well as Technical and Financial survey for spring source gravity flow schemes.
During the two-day training, PRA activities as well as community mapping and source-to-mouth activities were carried out.

Hotel guest found dead in room in Namchi

NAMCHI, 15 Nov: Prem Kumar Karki, hailing from Bihar, was found dead today in a hotel room here today. He had checked into the hotel last night, it is informed.
This morning, when the hotel staff knocked on the door and he did not respond, they informed the police who later found him lying dead inside the room.
The cause of death is yet to be ascertained and Namchi Police have started investigations into the case. As of now, the Police have registered a case of unnatural death but are looking at all possible angles. The actual cause of death can be ascertained only after the autopsy report, said police sources.
It is learnt that the deceased was employed with Canara Bank and had been transferred to Namchi.

Muharram in Namchi

NAMCHI, 15 Nov: The Muslim community of Namchi observed Muharram here at Namchi bazaar today. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and begins with mourning of the death of Imam Hussein Ali, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad.
Muharram is a day of remembrance, especially for Shias, as they mourn the death of Imam Hussein Ali. Muslims flagellate themselves on this day, reminding themselves of the sufferings the Imam went through. Some of the popular traditions are that people re-enact the battle of Karbala to spread awareness about his sacrifice.

FOR THE FUTURE OF STUDENTS, RESUME CLASSES

Letters:-
We, Sikkim Student Forum, urge all teachers to do their best to provide good education in Sikkim keeping their personal interests aside. They should not put their interest first ignoring the future of students. They should do their best and in the course of doing so they will be recruited as permanent teachers. The Government is in search of good teachers which we believe. Good teachers produce good students and good students produce good society and so on and so forth. In that way, Sikkim will benefit. Sikkim Student Forum wants Sikkim to be a better place and in this, students have a great role to play because students are the politicians, decision makers, bureaucrats, policy makers of tomorrow.
In making the students the leaders of tomorrow teachers have huge role to play. It is teachers who shape the students, who motivate the students and share the credit of students' success to a large extent. Therefore we urge all the teachers sitting on a hunger strike to resume their classes and contribute the best they can and in due course of time sooner or later the government will recruit them for posts they are qualified for.
Rajiv Rai, Member, Sikkim Student Forum

Gangtok ICDS centres celebrate Children’s Day

GANGTOK, 15 Nov: Three ICDS centres of Gangtok viz. Church Line, Lower Chandmari and White Hall jointly celebrated Children’s Day at White Hall complex on 14 November.
The programme was meant for around 70 children from the three centres which was attended by Deputy Director, Social Welfare Department, GM Subba as the chief guest and co-ordinated by Ranjana Rai, Supervisor of the Department.
The function was also attended by Aganwadi workers and helpers who paid tribute to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and distributed sweets to the children.

High Court admits 3 PILs filed by public and Pipon of Lachen

GANGTOK, 15 Nov:The High Court of Sikkim admitted three Public Interest Litigations [PILs] on 11 November after it received three letter petitions forwarded from the Supreme Court judge, who was in Sikkim on a personal visit in the first week of November.
The public and Pipon of Lachen have submitted three letter petitions highlighting their grievances before Supreme Court Judge, Justice AR Dave, who visited Lachen in North Sikkim on 04 November. The petitions urge him to pass appropriate orders or directions to the concerned authorities for immediate action.
Justice Dave had forwarded the letter petitions to the High Court directing them to take appropriate action. The High Court examined the letter petitions and admitted all the three petitions and directed the central and state government authorities to respond within six weeks.
In the first letter petition, the public and Pipon of Lachen have requested for grant of favourable order for non-construction of tunnels from Lachen to Tso Lhamu in North Sikkim. It mentions that the Indian Army had constructed a tunnel at Rugrab, North Sikkim for their own purpose without the consent of the local people.
The letter petition further states that the construction of the said tunnel had led to several natural disasters and damaged properties belonging to the public of the locality. It is added that the land is very religious and the public of the area regularly conduct pujas and religious ceremonies there.
In the second letter petition, the public of Lachen have sought Apex Court direction for early completion of the sanctioned road carpeting work from Chungthang to Thangu. This was reportedly sanctioned by the central government back in 2012 but till date no work has taken place, the letter petition states.
It states that the road starting from Chungthang to Thangu, especially beyond Lachen, is in very poor condition which has adversely affected tourism in the area.
In the third letter petition, the public and Pipon of Lachen have requested for an increase in the rent paid to land owners there by the Army for the land it occupies in the area.
The letter states that private lands at Lachen, Thangu, Yongdi, Kalep, Yathang, Samdong and Chaten has been occupied by the Indian Army for a long time and the army does not pay rent in accordance with the present value of the land.
It further states that they have approached the concerned authority several times regarding this and no action has been taken till date.
The public and Pipon have also requested that the concerned authorities be directed to either acquire the occupied land or else vacate it.

ATMA organises two-day training on dry flower technology

GANGTOK, 15 Nov: In order to makeSikkimese women farmers self-reliant and to add value to the floriculture business, the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA), East organized two-day training on Dry Flower Technology on 12-13 November.
The training was organized at SAMETI Hall, ICAR Complex,Tadong with technical support from Horticulture and Cash Crops Development Department, FS & ADD, Govt. of Sikkim.
A press release informs that a total of 20 farmers from East, West and South districts took part in the said training. Among these women farmers many had earlier been taken to Bangalore and Delhi on an exposure tour to learn about Dry Flower technology.
The chief guest and guest of honor for the function were Director, SAMETI, SL Dorjee and Project Director, ATMA, Asha Lama. The resource persons were Addl. Director Floriculture, DK Bhandari, HDO, Tissue Culture Lab, Rachana Gurung and artist Diwaker Lamichaney.

Salt Assault

editorial:-
Sikkim too succumbed to the salt shortage/ price hike rumour, and panic buying was witnessed across the State on Friday. No surprises there because the State has consistently proven that it is always only too eager to latch on to the latest rumour and whip itself into a frenzy over it, or, in the alternative, offer itself up for the latest scam doing the rounds. Remember how, some years back, Sikkim had emptied out into the streets convinced that an earthquake was coming? With the salt panic, it reinforced these credentials and also embarrassed itself because it joined the lines of the duped nearly two days after the con had been played out and by when it had become obvious that the panic elsewhere was being driven by rumours. Be that as it may, neighbourhood shops opened to eager early hoarders who cleared out the shelves. People were clearly buying surplus stocks and even before profiteering shopkeepers could decide to hoard, people had begun doing so. Groceries ran out of stock in most areas and soon more ugly rumours entered circulation – of people having been asked to pay nearly ten-times the MRP for their pinch of salt. It is obvious that some shopkeepers would have profited by selling salt in ‘black’, but the usurious scale of ‘premium’ being attributed in the present case is too astounding even keeping the gullibility of the consumers here in mind. A rumour which Sikkim could have laughed about over the weekend took an insidious turn with neighbourhood shops being looked up as opportunist profiteers by the people and general nastiness surfacing in how people engaged each other on the issue. And that is very the real worry begins.
Rumours are no longer circulated just by word of mouth or through anonymous pamphlets mailed by post; they now have the power of technology backing them in the form of online networks and the mobile phone and its multitude of apps to supplement the existing network of neighbourhood chatter. The same networks can also be used to dispel these rumours and were deployed this time as well and since early Friday morning, clarifications and reassurances were being communicated over these channels. These however did very little to settle the panic and it took public displays of inspections and ‘raids’ to discourage hoarding and opportunist profiteering. The disturbing aspect is not the gullibility of the people, but the more worrying sign that the success of such obviously improbable rumours convey – the obvious trust deficit. Rumours succeed not because people trust everything they hear but because they don’t trust others not to cheat or scheme. Isn’t it worrying that people can believe that the supply of an essential commodity like salt can be stopped or reduced? They end up believing this because they don’t trust their leaders or fellow citizens to do the right thing anymore. Many people on panic buying mode clearly knew that there was going to be no supply crunch or price hike, but wanted to play safe, worried that panic buying by others will empty the stocks and inconvenience them later. This is clearly not healthy because successful rumours will not always be harmless ones like this…

Cherry Tea Fest begins at Temi Tea Estate

GANGTOK, 15 Nov: The three-day Cherry Tea Tourism Festival - 2013 began today with various events at the Temi Tea estate of Temi Tarku, South Sikkim. Tourism Minister, Bhim Dhungel, who was present on the occasion as the chief guest inaugurated the programme.
The festival is being organized by Temi Tarku Tourism Development Committee (TTTDC) with the support of state Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, Travel Agents Association of Sikkim (TAAS) and tourism stakeholders of the area. Minister Dhungel was accompanied by area MLA, BS Panth in a colorful function held at Temi Bazaar.
The main objective behind organizing the fest is to attract national and international tourists to the area during this time of the year when cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

LARGE CARDAMOM AUCTION BY NERAMAC

Hee Gaon farmer fetches highest price of Rs. 1,050 per kg
GANGTOK, 15 Nov [PIB]: NERAMAC started the auction of large cardamom from 30 October this year and in the initial round, farmers received the maximum rate of Rs. 990 per kg of large cardamom. In the second auction held on 13 November, Shyam PD Limboo of Hee Gaon fetched the highest price of Rs. 1,050 per kg. The lowest price of Rs. 910 per kg was fetched by BM Tamang and JP Khandu both from Hee Gaon.
Since the inception of this auction programme, Hee Gaon farmers have shown a lot of interest and have been taking advantage of this type of transparent auction. This has been possible because of people like NK Limboo [Chairman STDC], Chandramaya Limboo [MLA, Dentam], SB Limboo and Janardan Basnet, all from Hee Gaon who put their best effort to make large cardamom auction a success.
Speaking on this occasion, PC Roy [Sr. Zonal Manager, NERAMAC] informed that the date of the third auction of large cardamom has been fixed as 27 November at the Spices Board premises at Singtam where more arrival of produce and participation of farmers and bidders is expected to make the programme more successful. He also expressed his gratitude to BM Jayram [Dy. Director, Spices Board, Gangtok] for extending necessary help in conducting such a programme successfully. A subsidized transport vehicle has also been provided for transportation of the materials of farmers, he further added.

Training on efficient utilization of draught animals held at Namthang

GANGTOK, 15 Nov: The College of Agriculture Engineering and Post Harvest Technology [CAEPHT], Centre of All India Coordinated Research Project on Increased Utilization of Animal Energy with Enhanced System Efficiency [AICRP on UAE], conducted joint training KVK, Namthang recently for efficient utilization of draught animals.
A total of 33 farmers of Namthang region attended the training program on management of draught animals for animal based farming system on terraces of South district.
Addressing the training program, Principal Investigator, Dr. RK Tiwari, briefed about the purpose and schedule of the three-day training program. He also emphasized about the sanitation measures to be taken in the improved animal shelter for ensuring better health and hygiene of the work animals for timely and higher work output especially during seasonal operators. Program Coordinator, KVK, Namthang, Dr. Tilak Gajmer, mentioned about the role of KVK in promoting animal based farming for major crops of the region.
The highlight of the training included display and demonstration of improved equipment package [Improved wedge plough, Improved peg type puddler, Improved helical blade puddler, Two row improved zero-till seed drill, Two row maize planter, Cono weeder, manual wheel hand hoe, Improved yoke and tubular maize sheller] for cultivation of rice, maize, mustard, black gram, buck wheat and ginger.
Likewise, Joint Director for Department of Animal Husbandry, Gangtok, Dr. GS Sharma, informed about the health care and sanitation measures needed for work animals including the nutritive feed formulation.
Livestock Assistant, CAEPHT, Dr. BK, explained the use of herbal medicines for draught animals and demonstrated the feed formulation using wheat bran [35%], ground maize [33%], mustard oil cake [30%], mineral mixture [1%] and salt [1%] to the participants. He also explained about the use of preventive medicines in the healthcare kit for animals based on the symptoms of the sick animals when required.
SK Chauhan explained about the benefits of zero till drilling to the farmers, to complete sowing operation in single pass without preparatory tillage which would save time [65%] and cost of operation [70%] compared to the traditional practices of farmers [02 ploughing + 01 planking operations].
During the concluding session, the chief guest, Devi Maya Baraily, Vice Chaiman, Zilla Parishad, South Sikkim, urged the farmers to use animal drawn improved equipment package for increasing crop productivity in the region. She appreciated the joint efforts of CAEPHT [CAU], Ranipool and KVK, Namthang for creating awareness regarding the use of improved equipment and nutritional feed to the work animals.
Ms. Baraily distributed the certificates to the participants, including animal health care kits along with pamphlets.
The farmers of South Sikkim District appreciated the mechanization effort of UAE Centre, Ranipool and expressed their willingness to adopt the improved equipment along with their traditional package due to cost-effectiveness and higher work rate.

Friday, November 15, 2013

No shortage in salt supply assures Civil Supplies Deptt

GANGTOK, 15 Nov [IPR]: A high level meeting was held at the Chamber of Principal Secretary, Home Department attended by Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies and CA Department and senior officials with regard to the rumours going around of the purported rise in the price of salt.
During the meeting the Secretary, Food & CS & CA Department informed that 47,117 bags of approximately 50 kilograms each containing loose iodised salt is available under PDS in the transit godown at Siliguri from where the dealers are lifting their stocks and there is nothing to panic about it. However, all the District Collectors and the DCSOs have been alerted to keep a watch if any hoarding of salt is taking place. Instructions have also been issued to the concerned officials to take serious action against anyone found indulging in hoarding of salt.
The Secretary also informed that an emergency meeting was held with the Gangtok Municipal Corporation Mayor with the dealers of in and around Gangtok to ensure that there is no shortage of supply of salt in the market. The dealers in the meeting assured that adequate stock of salt is available and additional quantity is being brought to Gangtok.

Children’s Day refreshes Nehru’s vision, reiterates commitment to keep young safe

POWER PROJECTS IN STATE INSPIRED BY NEHRU’S VISION: CM
“POLITICS BY ADHOC TEACHERS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED”
GANGTOK, 14 Nov: “We need to introspect upon the contributions made by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for the development of India. What India is today is all due to his firm stand on issues related with the development of the country,” said Chief Minister Pawan Chamling during the Children’s Day celebrations held here at Chintan Bhawan today.
“Nehru used to say ‘Dams are the temples of modern India’ and following in his footsteps, after our government came to power we decided to harness our rivers and invested in power projects,” he said and added that from a total of 21 power projects, the number was later brought down to 12 due to certain reasons.
Criticism from various organizations regarding the power projects should be debated, he stated further, adding that it was time for intellectuals and the civil society to come forward regarding the issue.
Sikkim is the only State where there is no hunger or extreme poverty, but there is still a lot of work to be done for its development, he added.
Speaking on Child Rights, he said that children in Sikkim are getting the best educational opportunities and are given the best protection. Orphaned, handicapped and differently-abled children of the state are being provided with pension and will be provided free education, the cost borne by the state government, as this is the policy of the state government, he added.
He informed about the pre-matric scholarship for OBC students to be provided from next year onwards. Swimming pools will be built at the constituency level for now and later at the sub divisional level as well, he informed.
Speaking on the ongoing pen-down, chalk-down indefinite strike of the ad-hoc teachers, he stated that the ad-hoc teachers instead of working and teaching the children in the schools are playing politics. This, he said, will not be tolerated and necessary and strict action will be taken against them.
Teachers Eligibility Test [TET] is mandatory and has to be taken by all teachers as this is a central act and not made by the state, so it is compulsory for all teachers to sit for the test, he further stated.
“Those from the opposition are giving irresponsible statements regarding the above issue and these needs to be stopped as it is not in the hands of the government to take any action regarding the issue. It is a central act and people need to act responsibly”, asserted the CM.
In his short speech, the Governor, Shriniwas Patil stated that it was an honour for him to stay at Raj Bhavan as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru during his visit to Sikkim had also stayed there. “Whatever development has taken place in India it is all because of the far-sightedness of Panditji,” he said.
“Sikkim is a very beautiful state filled with very generous people, right from the elders to the children, which has made me proud to be in Sikkim”, said the Governor.
In the end, he requested the Chief Minister and the state government to establish a football academy for the children of the state in Sikkim and offered all assistance from his side.
“If this could happen during my tenure, it would act as a boost for me and be an asset for the state”, he stated.
Earlier, two patriotic songs were presented by students of Enchey and Tadong Senior Secondary Schools, while a documentary film on the visit of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to Sikkim was also screened.

SDF’s Upper Burtuk in-charge begins door to door visit

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: Upper Burtuk in-charge of the ruling party, DR Thapa, today began a door-to-door visit of the constituency, starting from Taktse monastery and moving down to Upper Luing and covered around 100 households and enquired after their concerns and grievances. He also assured to take forward a few proposals which were practical and assured to take up drinking water supply in the area immediately.
He was accompanied by party workers. Mr. Thapa assured the people that he will take up their issues at the required forums. Upper Burtuk, it may be recalled does not have a legislator anymore ever since the elected representative PS Tamang resigned.
The SDF youth of the area commended Mr. Thapa for his work in the constituency ever since he was made in-charge around five months back.

SSP inducts new members into party

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: Sikkim Sangram Parishad party today welcomed 57 youth into the party. The new members were led by Suman Subba from Soreng-Chakung constituency of West Sikkim, Chungmo Bhutia from Mangan, Menu Darjee from Mazitar, Melli constituency and Sumiran Alay from Namchi Singithang, informs an SSP press release.
In a meeting of the Central Working Committee of the party held today at the party head office, the party president Nar Bahadur Bhandari also welcomed Kamal Khati of Rangpo into the party. Mr Khati has been given charge of the Central Pendam constituency, the release informs.
The meeting also discussed details of organizing the party and educating the masses on the importance of old laws, tripartite agreement and special provisions under Article 371 F of the Indian Constitution. The meeting resolved to hold a street corner public meeting at Rangpo Bazaar on 17 November for which a letter seeking permission has been sent to the SP East and DC East, it is informed.

SSLSA organizes Children’s Day celebration with the underprivileged REBYNA RANA

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: The Sikkim State Legal Services Authority [SSLSA] celebrated the Children’s Day here in the Tashi Namgyal Academy, Auditorium hall today.
Addressing the gathering, Justice NK Jain of the High Court of Sikkim, who chaired the occasion as the chief guest, said that the National Legal Service Authority [NLSA] has been organizing the Children’s Day celebration with the Delhi Legal Services Authority.
He congratulated SSLSA for celebrating the occasion with underprivileged children from destitute homes and shelters. Mr. Jain further spoke on the contributions and vision of Jawaharlal Nehru. He appreciated the performances presented by the children on the day and wished them a bright future.
Children from destitute homes and some children from public schools participated in the celebrations today.
Justice SP Wangdi of the High Court of Sikkim also appreciated the celebration being held for children from vulnerable backgrounds.
“Today we have not only gathered to commemorate the birthday of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, but also to re-dedicate ourselves to causes related to children,” he said.
He highlighted about the sacrifices as well as contributions of Nehru towards the nation and also towards children.
Justice Wangdi also stressed on the direct principles of the state policy and on Article 21A of the Indian Constitution which provides for free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India. The function also saw cultural activities being performed by the various orphanages and homes namely; Kingston Destitute Home [Rhenock], Tarcon-Lee [Mangan], children from Special School for Hearing & Speech Impaired [Upper Sichey, Gangtok], TNA students, Balika Niketan, Ujjwal Kala Kendra.
The day also saw the presentation of certificates and prizes to the winners of painting competition by the chief guest. The winners for the painting competition were Ong Tshering [Wangdi Faith Home, Mangan] in first position, James Lohar, [Kingstone Destitute Home, Rhenock] in second position, and Phurba Lepcha [Righim Monastic School] in third position. Consolation prizes were also distributed to the participants.
Certificates of appreciation were also presented to the Destitute Homes/Orphanages and Schools of four districts of Sikkim who participated in the painting competition, skits and dances.
The function was also addressed by the District & Sessions Judge, Spl. Division-II, Sikkim at Gangtok and Member Secretary, Sikkim SSLA, KW Bhutia.

Congress celebrates Children’s Day at party office

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: On the occasion of the 124th Children’s Day, Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee [SPCC] today remembered the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, as the visionary who shaped India’s future. A pivotal figure in the Indian independence movement, Nehru was born on 14 November, 1889 in Allahabad.
An SPCC press release informs that the party celebrated the day with a function during which the SPCC president Kunga Nima Lepcha highlighted Pandit Nehru's affection towards children. Celebrating Children's Day is about giving children the right to enjoy and grow into healthy and educated citizens of the country, he said.
Amongst the gathering were senior vice president, Major T. Gyatso, INTUC president Kinley Gyaltsen, SPCC general secretary Rudra N Shakya along with other PCC members in the function held today at the SPCC head office, Gangtok.
General secretary (communication), Doncee Lama, stated that being a national party, people should have nationalist views and agendas. Local people are sentimental and are grounded regionally but keeping aside the regional feeling, people should volunteer and be aware about centrally allocated schemes, she said.
People say that they have been given model houses by the state but these have infact been provided through a central scheme so far, she contended.

Ward level training on basic first aid begins at SMIMS

GANGTOK, 14 Nov [IPR]: Two-day ward level training on providing basic first aid to volunteers, quick response team and members of civil defence began here at the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Science, 5th Mile, Tadong.
The programme is under a GoI - UNDP Project on climate risk management for disaster preparedness and mitigation in urban areas supported by USAID in collaboration with Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority, (SSDMA) Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department and Gangtok Municipal Corporation, Government of Sikkim.
The programme focused mostly on urban areas aims to strengthen the community at ward level as first aid is the immediate treatment given to the victim of an accident or sudden illness before proper medical help arrives.
The Vice Chancellor, Sikkim Manipal University, Brig. Dr. SN Mishra in his address spoke on several reasons attributed to the various types of disasters that are happening in the world. He also said that the effective application of first aid techniques depends on the ability of the volunteers or rescuers to assess the situation.  This workshop would provide techniques and inputs for victim assessment and goals of basic first aid and also called upon the participants to gain maximum out of this workshop.
Earlier, Keshav Koirala [City Project Coordinator, GoI-UNDP Project, SSDMA] in his welcome address highlighted about the programme. He also mentioned that six activities will be carried out focusing on the urban areas in this GoI - UNDP project.
The programme included city disaster management plan, hazard risk vulnerability and analysis, ward level training on basic first aid, and search and rescue, mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in developmental plans, knowledge management etc.
The second session deliberated on head injuries related to disasters and basic first aid knowledge, its understanding and usage by the resource persons. The second day’s session will be on fitness and rehabilitation, basic disaster concepts etc.

SBAF merges with Sikkim-TMC

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: Sikkim Bachao Abhiyan Forum [SBAF], claiming a membership strength of 500, merged en bloc with Sikkim Pradesh Trinamool Congress today.
A press release issued by TMC general secretary, Tshering Wangchuk Lepcha, informs that all the members of Sikkim Bachao Abhiyan Forum joined Sikkim-TMC today “to carry forward the movement of positive change with responsible leadership carried by Sikkim Pradesh TMC in Sikkim”.
The president of Sikkim Bachao Abhiyan, former DSP Jeewan Pradhan was declared vice-president of Sikkim Pradesh TMC unit. Other executive members of SBAF who were present today shall be active working members of SPTMC, the release adds.
It may be mentioned here that Sikkim Bachao Abhiyan Forum had earlier this year claimed to have joined Sikkim Sangram Parishad and then on 06 October joined Sikkim Krantikari Morcha during the welcome ceremony hosted at Paljor Stadium for former SDF MLA PS Tamang [Golay].

SATA felicitates martial artists on return from world c’ship

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: Sikkim Amateur Taekwondo Association felicitated four of its players who represented India in the 8th World Taekwondo Poomsae Championship held in Bali, Indonesia, from 31 Oct to 03 Nov 2013.
In the senior team category, Trilok Subba, Amit Pradhan and Ganga Pradhan, reached the semifinals and lost against USA by a narrow margin. In the senior pairs category - Trilok Subba and Sabitri Pradhan - also reached the semifinals and lost against Chinese Taipei.
Trilok Subba, Amit Pradhan, Sabitri Pradhan and Ganga Pradhan were selected for the national team after winning golds in the 6th Nationals Taekwondo Poomsae championship held at Imphal, Manipur in August 2013.
They trained at MCM Dojang near White Hall for the Lusofonia Games and India Open International Taekwondo Championship scheduled to be held in the month of January 2014.
Rajen Subba, the SATA joint secretary, in a press release issued today, conveys, “It’s a great achievement to reached till semifinal in the WTF Taekwondo Poomsae World Championship were world top class athlete competes.”
SATA president YB Thapa has also welcomed their performance as a big achievement for the State and congratulated the martial artists.

Sikkim Police wins first match at All India Police Meet Football tourney

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: Sikkim Police has made a good start in the 62nd BN Mallick All India Police Meet Football Tournament 2013 at Secundrabad in Andhra Pradesh. In its first match played today, Sikkim Police outplayed Jharkhand Police 2-1.
Pradeep Gurung and Suman Dewan scored one goal each to help Sikkim Police win its first match.
Tomorrow, Sikkim Police will take on Madhya Pradesh Police which will be followed by its last match against Assam Police on Saturday in the qualifying round. Sikkim needs to win at least 2 matches to qualify for the next round.

North District Legal Services Authority celebrates Children’s Day

MANGAN, 14 Nov: The North District Legal Services Authority under State Legal Services Authority celebrated Children’s Day with children from destitute homes and other institutions today here at Zilla Bhawan in Mangan, North Sikkim.
The celebration had Zilla Adhakshya North, Anguli Lepcha as the chief guest along with the District Session Judge North, Jagat Rai, SDM Mangan, PW Lepcha, Judicial Magistrate North, Binay Sharma, students and teachers from different institutions and other officials.
The celebration had children from institutions such as Tarcon Lee, Wangdi Faith Home, Sheda [monastic schools] from Ringhim and Naday.  A colourful cultural programme was also presented by the children.  Likewise, monks from Ringhim Sheda presented a play on the life of Lord Buddha.
The North District Sessions Judge, Jagat Rai underlined that apart from enjoying themselves on the auspicious day, the children should also remember Chacha Nehru. Children are the future of the nation and parents should play an important role in shaping the future of the children, he added.
In her address, the chief guest highlighted about the importance of Children’s Day and further added that children should concentrate more on studies to ensure a bright future.  The children of Sikkim are very lucky as our Chief Minister has provided all the required facilities to students, she said.
The Judicial Magistrate North, Binay Sharma imparted information on Juvenile Justice Law on the day.

Children’s Day in South Sikkim

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: On the occasion of Children’s Day almost all schools, private and government, in the South District organized programmes in their respective school premises. Melli Gumpa Secondary School organized a programme in which Melli Block Information, Education and Communication (IEC) sponsored a debate competition on ‘Sex education in school’.
Apart from that, a brief talk was also given to students on ‘Adolescent reproductive and sexual health’ which was delivered by Sonam G Bhutia who is the Health Educator of Melli PHC. To mark the event in a more meaningful manner a documentary film on Right to Education (RTE) by filmmaker Bhuwan Sharma was also screened for the children and teachers of the school. The debate competition was won by the team that spoke for the motion who were presented with prizes.
Similarly, Government Secondary School at Kamrang, South Sikkim also observed the day in a grand manner. The Children’s Day celebration also included presentation of Gold Medal Award to AISSE 2013 topper Angel Manger. The Joint Director HRDD Namchi was the chief guest during the celebration who presented the award to the topper. On the occasion the headmaster of the school MV Pounrajan highlighted on the importance of the day.
 

 

Monks of Sikkim questions State govt on Khecheopalri defilement incident of a decade back

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: Monks of Sikkim has questioned the State government on what action has been initiated against accused person who took a swim in Khecheopalri Lake in West Sikkim in 2003, an act seen as the monks and Buddhists here as defiling the lake. The issue had become a major issue a decade back and had even led to a Supreme Court case, where the State Government had reiterated its commitment to protect places of worship and religious significance. The Monks of Sikkim press release concludes with the warning, “In the absence of appropriate action on the part of the State, the monks of Sikkim shall be compelled to initiate suitable course of action as may be deemed fit”.

All India Cooperative Week observed at Melli Dara

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: The 60th All India Cooperative Week was observed at Melli Dara with a function held today on the theme “Cooperative Governance, Leadership and Reforms.” All India Cooperative Week is observed from 14-20 November every year.
A press release informs that the celebration was organized by Melli Dara Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Ltd. [MPCS] in collaboration with JRCS Office, Namchi.
President of Melli Dara Paiyong GPU, DB Pradhan welcomed all the guests and attendees which was followed by the reading out of the Governor’s and Chief Minister’s messages on the occasion. President, Melli Dara MPCS Ltd., Ganesh K. Rai spoke about cooperative societies in modern times and threw light on the day’s theme.
He also highlighted the need for resurgence of Cooperative Societies for the benefit of the common people and briefed about different activities conducted by Melli Dara MPCS Ltd. along with those carried out through cooperative societies in Melli constituency. He expressed his gratitude to the state government for granting a building for Melli Dara MPCS and informed the gathering that the building would be used for different purposes including rural shopping centre, Bank etc.
Executive Officer, SICUN, PBH Subba addressed the programme and spoke on the aims and objectives behind forming cooperative societies. He urged all the members to be sincere and said that sincerity among the members is the building block of cooperative societies. Mr Subba informed the people about the big infrastructure of SICUN being constructed at Assam Lingzey.
Addressing the gathering, the chief guest, Minister Roads and Bridges, RB Subba highlighted that cooperation demands sincerity. “The SDF government has been pushing for cooperative movement in the state since 2002. The government’s stand towards strengthening cooperative societies in the state has been testified by the fact that cooperative societies in the state are awarded contractual works without issuing tenders”, he said.
The Minister urged all the members to avoid subletting of contractual works and encouraged them to take up other income generating activities apart from contractual works. He urged the officials present to see to it that the cooperatives are not discouraged due to red-tapism, the release mentions.
Melli MLA, Tulshi D. Rai, was also present today as the guest of honour.
The programme concluded with the vote of thanks by vice president of Melli Dara MPCS, Padam B. Lamichaney.

Tathagatha Tsal to host Lhabab Duechen prayers BUDDHA’S RELICS TO BE ON DISPLAY ON 24 NOV

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: Tathagatha Tsal, Rabong, South Sikkim has invited all devotees, pilgrims and well-wishers to attend the auspicious Lhabab Duechen prayers on 24 November, 2013.
Lhabab Duechen is observed to celebrate the descent of Lord Gautama Buddha to the realms of earth after he had left for heaven at the age of 41, having ascended to The Heaven of Thirty-Three (Trayastrimsa) in order to give teachings to benefit the gods in the desire realms and to repay the kindness of his mother by liberating her from Samsara.
One of the four Buddhist festivals commemorating four events in the life of the Buddha, according to religious traditions, Lhabab Duechen occurs on the 22nd day of the ninth month on a lunar calendar and falls on 24 November, this year.
As per a press release, prayers will be held at the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Buddha Statue and the relics of Lord Buddha presented by 13 countries and housed at the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Statue will be displayed for ‘zeka’ public darshan on 24 November, the main day.
In 2013 Lhabab Duechen starts on Full Moon 17 November and ends on 24 November. It is believed that during this day, positive or negative actions are multiplied 10 million times. It is part of Buddhist tradition to engage in virtuous activities and prayers on this day.
The Tathagatha Tsal has seen footfall of 41,960 tourists and visitors from 31 March 2013 to 31 October, 2013. Apart from it, 1,069 students have also visited the Tsal. A total amount of Rs. 30,18,735 has been collected through entry fees and donations in the last 7 months since it was consecrated in March, this year

Sikyue and Ney-sol rituals at Kabi Longstok on 17 Nov

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: The annual Sikyue and Ney-sol rituals at Kabi Longstok in North Sikkim will be held on 17 November, the fifteenth day of the ninth lunar month, it is informed.
A press release informs that this year’s prayer is being organized by Save Kabi Longstok Committee.
The prayers are performed annually here by monks and bongthings for universal peace and prosperity, particularly of Sikkim – its environment, land and inhabitants.
The committee has invited all to attend the ceremony and obtain blessings from local guardian deities.

ALL INDIA CHIEF MINISTER’S GOLD CUP FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT 2013 Manipur’s Zomi FC defeats USFC

NAMCHI, 14 Nov: United Sikkim Football Club was knocked out of the ongoing All India Chief Minister’s Football Tournament 2013 at Jorethang, South Sikkim today.
In the match between USFC and Zomi FC Manipur, Bijendra Rai gave the home club the lead in the 35th minute but later in the second half Nautan scored for Manipur in the 65th minute and equalised the score. The match ended in a goalless draw at full time.
In the penalty shoot-out, Manipur scored all five goals against four converted by USFC.
On Friday, Durgapur FC with take on Bhutan XI at 1.30 pm.

Heavenly Path programme at Thakurbari cancelled

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: The two-day long programme to be organized by Heavenly Path organization on 16 and 17 November here at Thakurbari has been cancelled.
‘Om Nanda’ Master God Angel was to give sermons during the programme along with healing session by a team of healers of the organization and meditation.
A press release from the organization informs that due to “inevitable circumstance the programme has been cancelled till further notice. We fervently request all well-wishers to bear with us”. The ad-hoc committee constituted to organize the program has also been dissolved, the release mentions.

CATCH explained at national summit on prevention of Cervical Cancer

GANGTOK, 14 Nov [IPR]: The Director General cum Secretary, Health, Dr. K Bhandari was invited to speak on CATCH programme and how it has helped screen Cervical Cancer cases in Sikkim at the plenary session of the Summit on comprehensive prevention of Cervical Cancer held on 07 November.
Dr. Bhandari highlighted the CATCH programme in the Summit attended by Member Planning Commission, Dr. Syeda Hameed and Director General, Health Services, Ministry of Health, Dr. Jagdish Prasad amongst other dignitaries.
Speaking on the benefits of the CATCH programme in general, he explained how the screening of Cervical Cancer cases was being conducted by VIA method even at the periphery. He further explained that the Government is very keen to start primary prevention of Cervical Cancer by HPV vaccination. This, he said, has been unfortunately delayed because of one pending PIL in the Supreme Court. This initiative would have been the first by any state, he informed.
He also informed that Health cards containing basic individual health information of all screened population has been developed and is being distributed. Further, all data collected through the CATCH programme has been stored in the data base and can be retrieved and up dated at any point of time.
The CATCH programme and specially its VIA screening of Cervical Cancer was appreciated by all the state representatives, representatives from the Ministry, NGOs and others who attended the Summit.

Governor felicitates National Science Exhibition participants

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: In a special ceremony held at Raj Bhawan here today on the occasion of Children’s Day, Governor Shriniwas Patil and Mrs. Rajanidevi Patil felicitated around 40 students from all over the country and eight teachers participating in the ongoing 40th Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition at Saramsa here.
A Raj Bhawan press release informs that the group was led by the HRD Minister NK Pradhan accompanied by Principal Secretary Thomas Chandy and Professor AK Wazalwar of NCERT.
Sharing their beautiful personal experience in Sikkim, the group comprising of students and teachers lauded the hospitality and respect they received along with the beauty and serenity of Sikkim, the release mentions.
The Governor in his address appraised the gathering on the significance of Children’s Day and on the contribution made by Chacha Nehru for the children of this country. The Governor also informed the gathering about the importance of National Education Day celebrated every year on the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
Mr Patil also stressed on the need for greater national integration through such programmes for unity in diversity.
The entire group expressed gratitude to the Governor and the first lady for their kind gesture in felicitating them, and for having spared their precious time.

GOVERNOR’S GOLD CUP 2013 UPDATE Tata Football Academy enters semifinal round

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: Tata Football Academy has become the first team to secure a berth in the semifinal round of the ongoing All India Governor’s Gold Cup Football Tournament 2013 here at Paljor Stadium. In the first quarter-final match played today, TFA beat Mumbai Tigers in a tie-breaker.
Mumbai Tigers, led by local lad Bikash Jairu as captain, was placed directly in the quarter-finals while TFA reached the quarter-final after beating NISA-Manipur in the pre quarterfinal match.
Both teams fought neck-to-neck right from the start but the match ended in a goalless draw. The match then entered into the tie-breaker through penalty shoot-outs. In the tie-breaker, TFA managed to net 5 goals while Mumbai Tigers scored 4.
Today’s match was also witnessed by the Governor Shriniwas Patil and his wife Mrs. Rajani Devi Patil.
On Friday, the second quarter-final match will be played between Manang Marshyangdi Club of Nepal and Royal Wahingdoh FC Shillong at 2 PM.
An exhibition match for U-14 girls on 20-10-20 minutes format was also played today to mark the occasion of Children’s Day. The match was played between Modern Secondary School and Deorali Girls’ Senior Secondary School, in which the former defeated the latter by 1-0.
Raj Bhavan presented the winners of the match with Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000 to the runners-up.
Today, the lucky draw of the second round mini-season tickets was held and announced by the Governor’s wife, Rajani Devi Patil. This time the prize went to ticket no 208 of Hill side.

Baha’i School celebrates Children’s Day

GANGTOK, 14 Nov: Baha'i School, Tadong celebrated Children’s Day with great enthusiasm. On the day, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, was fondly remembered and stories related to him were shared. Teachers of the school presented some beautiful Nepali folk songs and also performed dances for the children. Principal, Rupa Devi Sharma presented mementoes to out-going students of class X.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

GOVERNOR’S GOLD CUP 2013 MMC-Nepal down ONGC Mumbai in nail-biter

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: Manang Marshyangdi Club [MMC] of Nepal has also secured a place in the quarterfinals of the ongoing 34th All India Governor’s Gold Cup Football Tournament 2013 here at Paljor Stadium. In the nail-biting last pre quarter-final match today, MMC defeated ONGC, Mumbai 2-1.
The local crowd was all for MMC as they cheered them on waving the Nepal national flag. Both teams played their hearts out right from the start launching attack after counter attack. There were some closes misses where both teams could have taken the lead in the match.
The match ended in a goalless draw and was extended by 30 minutes extra-time to decide the winner. Soon in the extra-time, Anil Gurung scored the lead for MMC in the 95th minute but the ONGC bounced back with an equalizer from Fanai Lalmuanpuia in the 107th minute.  However, in the dying minutes of the extra-time, Sujal Shrestha scored the second and winning goal for MMC.
Today’s match also witnessed some aggressive moments. The referee flashed yellow cards to Sachin Gawas, Asim Hassan and Karan Atwal of ONGC and also to Anil Gurung and Sulav Maskey of MMC.
Now, MMC will take on Royal Wahingdoh FC Shillong on 15 November in the quarter-final round.
On Wednesday, the first quarter-final match will be played between Tata Football Academy and Mumbai Tigers at 2 PM.

Bhaichung to represent Asia in FIFPro Technical Committee

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: Indian Football Icon Bhaichung Bhutia has been selected to serve on the Technical Committee of FIFPro, the World Body for Players for a term of 4 years starting from 11 November 2013. He is the only representative from Asia in the six-man committee that has 3 from Europe, and one each from Asia, Africa and South America, informs a press release from Football Players Association of India (FPAI).
Bhaichung is the president of the FPAI which was founded in 2006. The basic objective of FPAI is to look after players’ rights and their safety. Besides, he is also the Chairman of the Technical Committee, of the All India Football Federation.
Honorary Secretary General of the FPAI, Jahan Mehta, conveys through the press release that, “This appointment is a boost for Indian Football and is a culmination of the work, dedication and contribution put in by Bhutia, over so many years. It is a great honor”.
FIFPro is the worldwide representative organisation for professional football players. FIFPro, with its headquarters in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, is made up of all the Players Associations from all countries of the world. FIFPro's mission is to support players and is the exclusive collective international voice of the World’s Professional Footballers. Players such as Xavi, Puyol, Casillas, Drogba, Owen, Beckham, Kewell and Nakata, are just a few, among many, who support their respective countries Players Unions.
The major issues that the Technical Committee of FIFPro will be dealing with are player safety, weather and playing conditions, types of playing pitches/surfaces, rules changes in the game of football affecting players and many other matters where FIFPro works for the benefit of players. They work closely with FIFA on all issues affecting players.
Apart from Bhaichung, other members of the Technical Committee are Geremi Njitap [Cameroon], Simon Barker [England], Vladimir Leonchenko [Russia], Jose Milton Melgar [Bolivia] and Gernot Zirngast [Austria].
“The appointment comes with the success and work that Bhaichung has put in to develop the Football Players Association of India. It is a great achievement for an Indian to be the only representative from Asia on the World Committee. We wish him all the best in this role over the next 4 years”, the release adds.
United Sikkim Football Club senior manager, Arjun Rai has also stated that the appointment of the club co-owner and CEO, Bhaichung for such a prestigious post is a proud moment for the whole club. On behalf of the club, Mr Rai has congratulated Bhaichung on the new responsibilities he will shoulder and expressed his best wishes for the same.

Temi blooms for Cherry Tea Fest

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: With the view to promote the natural beauty of cherry blossoms and organic tea fields of Temi, the first Cherry Tea Festival is being organized by the Temi Tarku Tourism Development Committee [TTTDC] in association with Tourism Department, Govt. of Sikkim.
A press release from TTTDC informs that the festival is proposed to be an annual event to be held from 15 to 17 November every year. The aim of the festival is to attract local, national and international tourists showcasing the world famous Temi Tea and the natural beauty of the area.
Members of tourism stakeholders have also extended their support and Travel Agents Association of Sikkim has offered to impart a one-day guide training to local youth of the area, the release mentions.
The organizing committee has invited all the people of Sikkim and outside to make the festival a grand success. The committee also requests all the tour operators, TAAS, SATO members, Hoteliers to disseminate information about the festival to tourists and make the necessary arrangements.
Temi, located in South Sikkim is about 51 Km away from the State Capital of Gangtok. Temi has always been popular for the only Tea Garden in Sikkim and Cherry Blossoms which are in full bloom in November against the backdrop of Khangchendzonga.
The activities planned during the festival include:
01. Darshan of Temi Durga-Shiva Mandir for the inauguration
02. Traditional food stalls
03. Exhibition cum Sale of local handicrafts & floriculture products
04. Exhibition cum Sale of Temi Teas at concessional rate (Taste of organic world class tea)
05. Paragliding and declaration of paragliding destinations of the area.
06. Helicopter Joy rides for Temi Tea Garden, Cherry View, Char Dham, Buddha Park
07. Mountain Biking
08. Cherry Tea Garden walks
09. Inauguration of photo points for Natural beauty for photographers (cherry view point)
10. Open landscape/ canvas painting competition
11. Photography competitions
12. Marathon race [Temi to Cherry View Point]
13. Visit to areas with Cherry Blossoms and organic tea fields and processing units.
14. Cultural program by different communities, students and self-help groups
15. Visit to Cherry Guraas Sarvajanic Gumpa
16. Local singing competition
17. Traditional folk musical instrumental performances
18. Musical presentation by Genesis Music Academy and Dance Sensation Academy and local artists.

SKM to form constituency-level committees in South Sikkim

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: The district level working committee meeting of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha was held under the chairmanship of the party vice-president, Bhojraj Rai today at Namchi in South Sikkim. The meeting was attended by district committee members and active members of the party.
An SKM press release informs that the meeting unanimously decided to constitute constituency-level committees in all constituencies of South Sikkim from 19 November onwards starting from Temi-Namphing. The constituency-level committee will be formed for Barfung constituency on 22 November followed by Melli on 23 November, Yangyang on 25 November and Namthang-Rateypani on 28 November.
In his address, Mr. Rai stated that with the increasing number of members, the party has to now concentrate on its organization. He further claimed that members of the ruling party have been joining SKM party especially in the rural areas. He further added that in this regard the party has to work on strengthening the organization of the party.
The meeting was also addressed by other members of the party.

Royal Wahingdoh to hold try outs in Namchi

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: The Royal Wahingdoh Football Club of Shillong, one of the reputed football clubs of North East India, has announced plans to hold a selection trial for U-19 boys [preferably 15 to 18 years of age] at Veterinary Ground, Namchi, on 18 November, next Monday, from 10 AM onwards.
In a press release, Assistant Director, Sports, Namchi, NK Chettri informs that the selected candidates will be provided with free schooling in Shillong with hostel facilities, good coaching with reputed football coach, all the necessary kits, stipend etc.
Interested candidates should reach the Veterinary Ground with their original Birth Certificates by 10 AM with proper kit. No TA/DA shall be provided. For details contact - 9635422526.

Supreme Court stays post-lathicharge cases booked against SKM leaders

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: The Supreme Court yesterday stayed cases and chargesheets against Sikkim Krantikari Morcha members registered in the wake of the lathicharge on its head office here [at Convoy Ground on 11 February], informs SKM general secretary [legal affairs] Sonam Bhutia.
The order passed by Justice Singhvi states that the police action on the day was “unwarranted” and that the subsequent cases registered against SKM members be stayed.
This followed the submission of the report of the Commission headed by IC Divedi, ex-DGP of Upon the Sikkim Police lathicharge led by IGP [Law & Order] Akshaya Sachdeva.
Mr. Bhutia further informs that Justice Singhvi adjourned the matter by two weeks “in order to examine in detail the enquiry report.”
The petitioners were represented by Prashant Bhushan and Sunil Mathew who reportedly argued that the IGP should be suspended and a criminal case registered against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation along with initiation of Departmental proceedings against him by the CVC.

Kamrang Govt College lecturers dissatisfied with college administration

NAMCHI, 13 Nov: The teaching faculty of Kamrang Government College, Namchi, is dissatisfied with the way the college administration is functioning.
Speaking to media-persons today, they alleged that they have not been receiving their salaries on time and have not received their increment and Dearness Allowance [DA] arrears.
They stated that they receive their monthly salaries after the 12 or 15 every month. Due to the delay in payment of salaries, many teachers who have taken loans from banks have to pay extra interest, they said.
The teachers alleged that staff of other colleges have received their arrears and some of their colleagues at the college also received their arrears after moving the files around themselves. “We have been appointed as teachers but we are also made to run around offices for our rights which is not proper,” they stated.
They also informed that they have not received the 10% hike in DA announced by the state government before the Diwali holidays. They further alleged that there is also delay in medical reimbursement, salary increment and other facilities provided by the state government.
They further added that the college administration does not give clear answers when approached. “If they explain to us what the problems are then we could also help find solutions to such problems”, they stated.
Meanwhile, ADM of Namchi Government College, Saraswati Syangden refuted allegations of delay in payment of salaries. Apart from some instances, the salaries are being released on time, she said. The college staff is getting salaries on the first of every month except when it is a holiday, she underlined.
On the delay in payment of arrears and DA along with other dues, Ms Syangden informed that as against the estimated demand of Rs 2.78 crore for the 2013-14 session, the HRDD has released only Rs 1.70 crore which was not sufficient. This, she said, is the reason behind the delay in payment of arrears and DA.
She further said that this demand was placed before the department last year and since then a number of teaching and non-teaching staff have been either transferred or appointed in the college and their salaries are also being managed from the above mentioned released amount.
Ms Syangden maintained that the staff is getting their salaries on time and they will have to wait for some time for other additional dues. “There is a system through which the money is transferred to the college administration and the transfer is under process. This is a system which cannot be changed”, she added.

Meeting discusses shortage in LPG supply

GANGTOK, 13 Nov [IPR]:  The Secretary, Food and CS & CA Department convened a meeting with the Plant Manager, IOCL, Bagey Khola, transporters, LPG distributors and Traffic Police of East district on 01 November to facilitate and clear the market backlog of the distribution of refilled LPG cylinders to consumers.
Due to the breakdown in LPG Plant at Bagey Khola, supply of cylinders has been affected to some extent. Further, there has been a shortage in supply of bulk product from Haldia-port in West Bengal which has affected plant operation. However, normal supply is expected to resume and the backlog shall be cleared during the next two weeks. Further, to avoid inconvenience, consumers are requested to collect the LPG cylinders from their respective distributor only after obtaining prior booking coupons.

Governor to host participants of the National Science Exhibition for High Tea

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: Governor Shriniwas Patil has invited a select group of around 40 students and 8 teachers participating in the ongoing 40th Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition at Saramsa to Raj Bhavan.
A press release from Raj Bhavan informs that the invitation comes as a goodwill gesture from the Governor who will felicitate and host a high tea in honour of these students for their “hard work and dedication in promotion of science in particular and also for visiting the eco friendly serene State of Sikkim”.

SFA to organize girls football match as Children’s Day treat

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: Sikkim Football Association has announced plans to organize an U-14 girls football match at Paljor Stadium on Thursday as its contribution to Children’s Day celebrations in the State.
An SFA press release informs that the match will be played at 12.30 PM between Deorali Girls School and Modern Girls School on 20-10-20 minutes format.
Mrs. Rajani Devi Patil, wife of Governor Shriniwas Patil, will be present as chief guest accompanied by Minister Tilu Gurung and Chief Secretary R. Ongmu, it is informed.

Remember, It is Children’s Day

Editorial:-
It is Children’s Day today, and in keeping with tradition, an entire section of school teachers on pen-down strike notwithstanding, the day will be ceremoniously observed in the State as it is elsewhere in the country. And just as everywhere else, children’s day will be more a student’s day affair here. While some might argue that this should not be unusual because children are invariably students as well, that is not necessarily the case in a country which, more than six decades after Independence, needed a special Act to announce that children have a Right to Education. The conversion of children’s day into an almost exclusive celebration with students smacks of disinterest and a refusal to explore beyond the routine ‘formalities’ of hosting such events. A more genuine children’s day celebration would include the less privileged children, and even if it was a once-a-year affair, hold up their situations to remind everyone else of those who could not be included in the Bharat Nirman [flag]ship. Children in our country now have specific rights, but how many of them know of these rights? How many know that apart from a Right to Education, they also have a right to be saved from having to work [even as domestic servants]? How many children know whom to approach when their rights are not delivered? A genuine commitment to children would require us to inform the more privileged of our children about these rights and then convince them that unlike the elder generation’s tendency to get divided into us and them, local and non-local, when it comes to child rights, the rights extend to all children. These young will then have to be informed about agencies they can approach when they notice the underprivileged from their age-group being denied their rights. Isn’t it ironic that while we have roped in the energies and idealism of the young to fight our battles with HIV and AIDS [through the formation of Red Ribbon Clubs in schools], we have still not effectively informed the young of their rights and how to fight for them. It is not enough to hold awareness sessions for politicians and bureaucrats on issues like Right to Education Act or the laws against child labour because it is essentially because they failed in their social responsibility that such laws were required in the first place. What would serve the children better would be effective awareness among them and some genuine efforts to equip them with the tools to create the moral pressure to ensure that the commitments translate from rhetoric to delivery.

UGEN CHOPEL ON THE CHUMBI MOUNTAIN RESORT AND SPA IN PELLING “Not just another resort”

REBYNA RANA
GANGTOK, 13 Nov: The Chumbi Mountain Resort & Spa in West Sikkim, a five star resort which was inaugurated on 12 November boasts of a design that is a marriagebetween the best in modern facilities and amenities combined with traditional trappings.
While interacting with the media on the eve of the inauguration, the Managing Director, filmmaker Ugen Chopel, said that the retreat is designed and built to offer visitors an experience and is not just another resort.
“Sikkimese architecture is largely influenced by monastic design and motifs which appear very abundantly and prominently in our entire retreat,” he said.
The resort also houses a rare vintage collection of books and films on Sikkim in the mini museum.
“We have managed to restore and digitize almost 70,000 feet of film given by the Palace. We also have around 2,000 books of Sikkim given by the Palace. Film footage which is 18 hours long records 100 years of the history of Sikkim,” Mr. Chopel informed. The only existing 35mm print of Satyajit Ray’s “Sikkim” is also on display here in the museum.
The resort is already attracting celebrities like Bollywood actress, Tabu who visited the resort a month ago as well as Hollywood actor, Richard Gere. “We are expecting more celebrities to visit the resort from the next season”, he added.
The resort also has a coffee shop and bar with a thematic rustic mountaineering base camp feel which is open for 24 hours. Guests can soak in the spectacular view of the Khangchendzonga with the warm aroma of freshly ground coffee of the Himalayas from Nepal or over a cup of exotic tea from Sikkim’s own Temi gardens or neighboring Darjeeling.
There is also an Amphitheatre which is inspired by the monastic courtyard where the traditional mask dances are performed. Guests can also enjoy the rare collection of films at the in-house LIDO Movie Theatre.
The Queen of Bhutan, Jetsun Pema’s father, Mr. Dhondup, accompanied by the MD for Wai-Wai Chaudhary Group [Nepal], Arun Chaudhary, who had been invited as guests also expressed their appreciation, especially of the hospitality offered.
Speaking on the bond between Sikkim and Bhutan, Mr. Dhondup said, “The bond we share is immortal because our cultures are very similar”.
Mr. Chaudhary said that Sikkim has been able to define its uniqueness and every Sikkimese is conscious about their heritage, nature and culture.
Similarly, all the way from Nepal, singers Adrian Pradhan accompanied by Nima Rumba said “We feel really fortunate to have visited such a beautiful place like Sikkim”.

Bihari Jagran Manch presents Chhat Puja Prasad to Governor

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: Members of the Sikkim Bihari Jagran Manch, led by their president Swaminath Prasad, and accompanied by district president Birendra Prasad and Swejee Prasad called on Governor Shriniwas Patil at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.
A press release from Raj Bhavan informs that they presented offerings [prasad] of the Chhat Puja to the Governor.
The Governor has conveyed his gratitude to the entire Bihari community living in Sikkim, and especially from Rangpo, and suggested that such activity should be continued in Rangpo.
The Governor also urged the Manch to extend their full cooperation to needy people from all walks of life in Sikkim and Rangpo in particular.

Assam-Lingzey artists perform in Guwahati

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: Assam-Lingzey based Kalakriti Sansthan artists performed in a cultural programme organized by Doordarshan North-East at Guwahati on 11 November. A press release of the organization informs that the state troupe led by Amrita Pradhan [Bardewa] performed a Maruni dance in the programme. The troupe was also accompanied by the organization’s president, AP Rai and other members.

ASGEA elections postponed

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: Election to the central committee of the All Sikkim Government Employees Association [ASGEA], Group C and D, scheduled to be held on 24 November 2013 has been postponed to 07 December 2013, informs a press release from the association.
An ASGEA election commission headed by the State Bank of Sikkim Employees Association has been constituted for the task, it is informed.
Elections will be held for 9 posts of chairman, vice chairman, general secretary, joint general secretary, treasurer, assistant treasurer, coordination, publicity secretary, office secretary.
The election has been postponed due to the late application for permission to convene the election from the Government of Sikkim, the release explains while requesting all members to participate in the election.

Protesting Ad-hoc teachers threaten to progress from pen-down to boycott classes mode

GANGTOK, 13 Nov: All Sikkim Ad-hoc Teachers, on dharna outside the district administrative centre here, have now threatened to boycott classes instead of their ongoing pen-down strike if they do not receive an immediate and positive response from the concerned department. They also plan to “intensify” the protest if they state government fails to resolve the issue immediately.
Speaking to media persons today, ASAT general secretary, Ashish Lepcha stated that the dharna has reached 23 days now but the government has not shown any interest in resolving the issue.
“Although a committee has been formed by the government to address the issue, all decisions and response from the department is being conveyed through the print media and we have not received any direct official response so far,” he said.
Mr. Lepcha informed that except one meeting with the committee there has been no further official correspondence between the committee and protesting teachers. All promises and assurances should be made officially, he demanded.
The protesting teachers further pointed out that the HRDD Minister is yet to meet them even after 23 days have passed since they launched the protest.
“Some schools have issued circulars saying ‘No Work, No Salary’. On what grounds have these circulars been issued and is it just to threaten us protesting teachers?” alleged and asked Mr. Lepcha. The department is also threatening to send substitute teachers to schools instead of solving the problem at hand, he claimed further adding that this only goes to show that the government is not in favor of resolving the issue.
The protesting teachers further alleged that the department only wants to prolong the issue till the end of the academic session. On this, they stated that the protest will continue even after the end of this year’s academic session.
It may be recalled that on 07 November, the HRDD in a press statement had said that the demand of ad-hoc teachers that the yearly appointment system be removed “is being considered by the government for implementation and is already in process”. The department had further said that the possibility of allowing ad-hoc teachers who do not possess the required qualifications as per the RTE Act 2009 to conditionally appear for the Teacher Eligibility Test “is being explored”. Regarding the demand for regularization, HRDD had said that it “is to be seen in the light of the provisions of law relating to this”.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

GOVERNOR’S GOLD CUP 2013 UPDATE USFC and Nepal National Youth XI through to quarters

GANGTOK, 12 Nov: United Sikkim Football Club [USFC] and Nepal National Youth XI have made it through to the quarter-final round of the ongoing 34th All India Governor’s Gold Cup Football Tournament 2013 here at Paljor Stadium.
Playing the pre quarter-final match today, USFC registered a convincing 3-1 victory over MP United.
Both teams started strong and aggressive, but it was Bhaichung’s USFC which maintained constant pressure on their opponents but could not score any goal in the first half. A goal by Tarun Nirwan in the injury time helped MP United to finish the first half with 1-0 lead.
The home team continued to attack in the second half with the equalizer coming in the 53rd minute when Sanju Pradhan netted the direct free-kick. Soon, Bijendra Rai turned a pass from his teammate into the lead for the USFC in the 68th minute which was followed by another goal from substitute Mayal Dok Lepcha in the 74th minute.
USFC will now take on Three Star Nepal in the quarter-final match on 16 November while MP United is going back home.
In another pre-quarter final match played today, Nepal National Youth XI beat George Telegraph, Kolkata 4-1 and also secured a place in the quarter-final berth of the tournament.
Bimal Gharti Mangar scored the early lead for NNY XI in the 7th minute and soon completed his brace in the 26th minute. Ajay Roy decreased the goal margin to 1-2 with his goal for George Telegraph in the 39th minute and the first half ended 2-1.
In the second half, Anil Rai extended the lead of NNY XI to 3-1 in the 56th minute and another goal by Shiva Subedi in the 71st minute confirmed the 4-1 victory for NNY XI.
Now, Nepali National Youth XI will take on Md Sporting Club, Kolkata in the quarter-final match on 17 November.
On Wednesday, ONGC will take on Manang Marshyandi Club, Nepal in the last pre quarter-final match at 2 PM.