Friday, August 21, 2009

Sikkim study team returns with rich Thai experience

Gangtok: A 4-member high level delegation visited Thailand earlier this month on an invitation of the Royal Thai Embassy to oversee and study the culture based developmentl projects implemented there and to explore the possibility of replicating the same in Sikkim.
The team comprised of Mr. Hishey Lachungpa, Political Advisor to Chief Minister, Mr. Karma Gyatso, Addl. Chief Secretary-cum-Development Commissioner, Mr. D.R Kharel, Secretary, Cultural Affairs & Heritage Department and Mr. Tashi Densapa, Director, Namgyal Institute of Tibetlogy, has since returned to Sikkim with rich experience which will provide valuable input in the rural development process in the State.
The delegation led by Mr. Lachungpa had the benefit of a conducted tour of DOITUNG in Chiang Rai Province where the projects and been formulated duly keeping in mind the cultural values and local sentiments of the areas for which they have immensely succeeded in raising the economic conditions of the villagers.
Power Point Presentation was made by officials of the various Ministries and Boards focused on the initiatives made by the Royal Family to strive for the achievement of sufficient economy, self-reliance and sustainability by a social and geographical approach. The Self-Help Groups were found fully functional and instrumental in fostering economic growth.
Looking at the holistic approach taken up by the Government of Thailand the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan and Aceh Province of Indonesia have also replicated some of the schemes in their countries. Handloom weaving and sheep rearing ceramics, coffee are the Pilot Projects launched in those countries with the technical support of the Royal Government of Thailand.
Royal Thai Embassy is scheduled to conduct a workshop at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok, on 9th September, 2009, to showcase the development projects in Thailand and to sensitize Sikkim Government to avail the technical support of the country in implementing sustainable schemes and encouraging peoples participation in development work.
On their return, the delegation members called on the Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling at his official residence and apprised him of their experience. A memento on behalf of the Royal Government offered by the authorities of community development was also presented to CM by the delegation.
The State of Sikkim is now contemplating on identifying a number of progressive farmers, to undergo such detailed training on self help and self sufficiency in economy.
The views, aims and objectives appear to be in consonance with the vision of the Chief Minister and we are positive that the people of Sikkim, particularly the rural population, will greatly benefit from this training, say the delegation members. The Royal Thai Embassy, along with the Development Board of Doitung under the aegis of the Royal Ministry of Interior is willing to impart the training, they say.
(With IPR input)