I attended the foundation stone laying ceremony of Ethnic Cultural Center at Bariakhop, West Sikkim.
Sikkim is home to 3 major ethnic communities and 21 castes which are distinct from each other in tradition, culture, lifestyle, food habits and customs. This makes our society unique and diverse. It is therefore, imperative to preserve and promote the distinct identity and existence of every community and sub caste. With this objective, the centre is envisioned to depict and showcase the unique identity of every community, which I am sure will be a revealation to the tourists visiting the State. It will also be of immense help for scholars for their study and reserach on the different castes of Sikkim.
The center will be built on 27 different plots of land, where traditional houses of all 21 castes of Sikkim would be constructed. The center will also consist of Mandir, Gumpa, Gaushala, exhibition hall, archery ground, dispensary, tourist guest house, ponds, gardens and parking facility. The total cost of the project would be over Rs. 100 crores and is expected to be completed by August, 2020. On its completion, this centre will be the biggest sustainable development project for promotion of our rich heritage. Apart from providing various other opportunities, this centre will also help in income generation for our people.
I suggested that the ground floor of each traditional house should be made like a museum that displays everything associated to a particular caste/community. Second floor could be used to perform cultural programmes and the third floor for selling different things includung cuisines belonging to a particular caste.
This center needs to be used productively to generate income through smart business approach. Booklets and brochures of every caste should be published and put up for sale.
I called upon the youths to come forward and take advantage of the flourishing tourism sector in Sikkim, especially with regard to religious and pilgrimage tourism. Similarly, I exhorted the students to work hard and equip themselves with skills that are required to forge ahead in the ever competitive world of modern day. However, in their quest for a place under the sun, they should never forget that they should be good human beings above all things.
I made the following announcements:
1. Sherpa community study centre to be constructed.
2. Temporary employees who have rendered services more than 5 years of service to be regularised.
3. Basic Amenity Centre with a cafeteria and parking facility to be constructed in between Bariakhop and Gyalshing for benefit of travellers.
4.7th Pay Revision to be implemented in the State from 1st April, 2018.