Gangtok/Namchi, Jan 9 (IPR)
The Consultation Committee led by Joint Secretary of Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) Meera Ranjan Tshering visited Kadamtham and Khamdong of East district today. The team had Director of MoTA, Shri Gopal Sadhwani, Member Secretary and Vice Chancellor of Utkal University, Prof. Soumendra Patnaik, Member of the Committee, along with officials of the Social Justice Department, Government of Sikkim.
The Consultation Committee endeavors to visit different communities of the state to access first-hand information to recommend the further modalities of the process.
During their visit, the Committee gathered first-hand understanding of their customs, culture and traditions. This study is being made to ascertain if the eleven left out communities of Sikkim are historically, socially, ethically and constitutionally eligible to demand tribal status rights.
It may be recalled that the Eleven Indigenous Ethnic Communities of Sikkim (EIECOS) in collaboration with Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim had organized Sikkim Summit for Tribal Status in Gangtok where Governor and Chief Minister of Sikkim, constitutional experts, retired bureaucrats, anthropologists, top thinkers, and policy makers had presented their views and ideas. Subsequently, a comprehensive post-summit document was released by Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling.
Similarly, the committee also visited Nizrameng in South Sikkim today.
During the last leg of their visit, the delegates met and interacted with the members of the communities and enquired upon the various rituals, customs, traditions, cultures, food habits, language of these communities.
It may be mentioned here that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal Ministry for overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for development of Scheduled Tribes.