I was pleased to attend the 314th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Teyoungsi Sirijunga today at Yuma Manghim in Martam, West Sikkim, a symbolic place of worship for all the people particularly to the Limboo Community across the globe.
In my address, I highlighted the contribution of Mahatma Sirijunga towards the upliftment of his community through literature. Sirijunga was not only a saint and a Limboo scholar, but a social thinker, guide, educator and a philosopher who taught the Limboo community to lead meaningful lives. As a storehouse of knowledge, his literary works were multi-dimensional, making a deep impact on the people at large. I particularly urged the youth of the Limboo community to learn from their past history and take inspiration from the life and works of Mahatma Sirijunga for further enrichment of their literature and culture. The elders of the community must guide the younger generation to follow the path shown by their Guru. Learned research scholars of Limboo community should carry out more research works on the life, works and teachings of their spiritual leader so that his immense contribution is known by all the people across the world. I believe that the life of Mahatma Sirijunga had similarities to that of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, Sirijunga too had immense love and respect towards his fellow beings and was killed by hanging him on a tree and shooting arrows. The Limboo community must never forget the sacrifices of the great leader without whom they would never have reached where they are today.
I apprised that the Limboo and Tamang communities in Sikkim enjoy all rights and facilities like other Scheduled Tribes. Regarding the pending demand for reservation of seats in the Legislative Assembly, I informed that the matter has been in the PMO since four months. Since it is a Central subject, the Union Government alone can decide on this, while the State Government has taken all necessary action required from its end. As announced earlier, even if the matter remains unresolved, the SDF Party will provide 5 seats for Limboo and Tamang candidates in the upcoming Assembly elections.
I made it known to all that the demand for inclusion of Limboo and Tamang communities in the Scheduled Tribe list saw light only after the formation of our Government in 1994. It was all due to the persistent efforts of the State Government that this demand was fulfilled in 2003. Consequently, we ensured that the two communities were provided reservation in jobs, higher education etc at par with BL communities of the State. I also informed the gathering that over the period of time, many ‘Manghims’ have been constructed by the State Government. The birth anniversary of Teyongsi Sirijunga has been declared a gazetted holiday and Limboo language is being taught till University level.
Among many other welfare programmes and schemes for the well-being of the community, I informed that the State Government has built Mahatma Sirijunga Teyongsi complex along with the statue of Mahatma Sirijunga Teyongsi and a study Centre at Yumang Thegu, Hee Kengbari in West Sikkim. I urged the Limboo community to properly utilize this infrastructure for preservation and promotion of Limboo language, tradition, culture and heritage. This centre, I am sure, will rise to prominence in future.
I made the following announcements:-
1. ’Gufa’(Cave) of Mahatma Sirijunga will be reconstructed and beautified.
2. An institution similar to ‘Sheda’ will be establsihed for imparting education for ‘Fedengba’, ‘Yeba’, ‘Yema’ etc of the Limboo community.
3.2nd phase work of Limboo Study Centre will be taken up.
4. In-principle sanction for construction of Federation Office at Chingthang.
5. Construction of 10 Homestays at Meyong.
6.Construction and upgradation works of Ek Khuttey Jharna will be taken up.
7. Construction of ICDS centre at Arithang Dara.
8. Upgradation of Martam Secondary School.
Earlier in the morning, I inaugurated the new community radio service station– Radio Kanchenjunga 91.2 FM at Martam which would be run by the NGO, Arithang Neel Gagan Development Society.
In the evening, I sought the blessings of His Eminence, Tulku Sangay Yonten Gyatsho Rinpoche of Rinchen Choeling Gumpa at Rinchenpong.