I was pleased to attend the programme organized for the celebration of 127th Birth Anniversary Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar by All Sikkim Scheduled Caste Welfare Association at Paljor Stadium.
In my address, I appealed to the Scheduled Caste community from our State not to be confined and be satisfied only with the reservation they have been granted, but become empowered and try to be at par with rest of the other category of people. This will only be possible if they become confident and put up a stiff resistance against any kind of discrimination or oppression. The community should be mindful of the fact that our Constitution, with the chief architect being none other than Dr. B.R Ambedkar, has given them same rights as rest of the citizens of India. They should never consider themselves marginalized but try to forge ahead in the society.
I informed the gathering that in our State, the Scheduled Caste community has been given numerous facilities unheard of in other parts of the Country. We have guaranteed them 7% reservation in jobs, Panchayats, higher education, Chief Minister’s Merit Scholarship along with Dr. B.R Ambedkar Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Caste students. Our Scheduled Castes brethren must compare themselves with their counterparts from rest of India and see how fortunate they are to be in a state like Sikkim, where they have been provided with peace and security with no caste based discrimination. We have also never seen any reported case of atrocity committed against the Scheduled Caste community.
I reminded them that it was only after 1994 that a member from the Scheduled Caste community has been made a Cabinet Minister, ensuring their participation in the highest decision- making body.
I urged the Scheduled Caste community to respect dignity of labour. One should never consider any job inferior. It is unfortunate that in recent times, many skill-based and popular occupations like tailoring and blacksmithing are no longer being taken up by our people. As result, these opportunities are being grabbed by people from outside the State.
Further, I stated that it is disheartening to see the prevalence of caste based societies in our Country. This is a sharp contrast to the western world where we find a knowledge- based society, in which skilled and knowledgeable people are treated with respect and reverence.
I appealed to the people not to get misled by those who indulge in politics that is based on caste and religion. The only motive of such negative forces is to create divisiveness in our society. We have to stand united and protect our State from falling prey to these people.
I took this opportunity to inform the people that there is no shortage of vegetables in our market, while also underlining the health benefits of organic products. I stated that in the initial stage we might face few hurdles and teething problems , but I am certain that they will be resolved soon.
Talking to the students who were present in large numbers, I appealed to them to be studious and industrious. They should endeavour towards becoming a good and employable human resource for the State. The State Government is providing them with free education up to graduation level, and courses in CCCT and ATTC are also free of cost. Besides, MBBS course in the upcoming Medical College at Sichey will be made free of cost for Sikkimese students.
I urged everyone present not to treat Ambedkar Jayanti merely as a Government function and a State holiday , but try to inculcate and put into practice the ideology and principles of this great statesman in our lives. Only then we would be paying true homage to the great statesman.
I was happy to meet Master Komal Thatal, football prodigy from our State, who represented India in Under- 17 World Cup and the students selected for Dr. B.R Ambedkar Scholarship. I also presented awards to the winners of District- level easy competition.
I congratulate all those who were felicitated on the occasion.
I also released the annual magazine “Bhim Chetna”.
I announced for the establishment of Research and Study Centre for Scheduled Caste Community.
Earlier, I visited the Sikkim Legislative Assembly complex to pay homage and tribute to Dr. B. R Amdedkar and offered ‘khada’ and garland.