GUWAHATI, Aug 8: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal distributed Lokanayak Omeo Kumar Das Memorial Meritorious Award to meritorious students belonging to tea community and tea garden areas in recognition to their good results in the High School Leaving Certificate Examinations at a function held at ITA Centre of Performing Arts in Machkhowa on Wednesday. The awards contain cash reward, citation and dictionary and were given to meritorious students belonging to three categories namely worker category, sub-staff category and staff category.
Organised by Assam Tea Employees Provident Fund Organisation, the programme was an attempt to recognise the good results of the students belonging to tea garden areas and to motivate them in their further studies.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Sonowal said, “Education is the tool through which society experiences paradigm shift to ensure quality of life. Ever since the present dispensation in the state has come to power, the government has attached utmost importance to the development of education especially in the tea garden areas”. He also said, “Giving quality education to the students of tea garden areas is the fundamental duty of our government. Attempts are being made through the programmes like Digital India, Make in India, Start up India for the empowerment tea community in the state”.
Reiterating State government’s commitment to push development of tea community, Sonowal said that right from distributing free text books and free admission in to colleges to providing scholarships, his government been taking several steps for educational development of the students of the state including students belonging to tea garden areas. He, however, said that the recent success of the students belonging to tea community in different fields of life has made the State confident, as the government is now looking for both micro and macro level intervention for the development of tea communities.
Targetting the students present at the programme, chief minister Sonowal said that Assam has enormous potential which can be harnessed judiciously to make the state hub of trade and commerce of South East Asian Countries. The Act East Policy announced by the Centre has also peeped to make Assam the gateway to ASEAN countries. Under such scenario students of the state can reap rich dividends by empowering themselves through available opportunities given by the system of education in the state.
He, moreover, said that consequent upon the bilateral talks with Bhutan, the Druk Airlines will start its flight operation between Guwahati and Paro via Singapore from September 1. Acknowledging the role played by tea communities towards the growth of state’s economy, chief minister Sonowal said that the aroma of Assam Tea would not have reached world-wide without the contributions of the tea garden workers.
Minister of State (independent charge) Labour and Employment Pallab Lochan Das while speaking on the occasion gave a brief overview of several schemes that the government has taken and will take for the welfare of tea garden areas. He announced that the State Government will construct auditoriums in tea gardens of the State and an archery academy for women would be set up in memory of martyr Mangri Orang. Book Fairs will be organized at tea garden areas on November 2, 3 and 4. He also said that for imparting coaching to UPSC aspirants, State government will start coaching for 50 bright students belonging to tea garden areas. Moreover, for students seeking admission in Engineering and Medical, coaching classes will be organised. He also said that 100 new high schools up to Class X in a PPP mode will be set in tea garden areas.
MLA Tinsukia Sanjay Kisan, MLA Duliajan Terash Gowala, MLA Lahowal Rituparana Baruah, senior journalists Prasanta Rajguru and Zarir Hussain also spoke on the role and contributions of Tea communities in the state. Chairman, Tea Cell Prahlad Gowala, Chief General Manager State Bank of India Sunil Kumar Tendon and a host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion.