Sikkim bags 3 national awards at MG-NREGA Sammelan

Gangto, Feb 4 (PTI) Sikkim has become the only state tobag national award in all three categories for exemplary workdone under MG-NREGA during the recent Mahatma Gandhi NREGASammelan in New Delhi.

The sammelan was held to commemorate the completion of thefifth year of the commencement of this programme and to giveaway awards to the best performing gram panchayats, districtMGNREGA teams and NGOs by the Union Rural Developmentministry.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA ChairpersonSonia Gandhi conferred the national award under the Districtcategory to Tshering Namgyal Bhutia, District DevelopmentOfficer, North District.

The award under the Gram Panchayat category was awardedto Milan Kumar Chettri, Panchayat Secretary, Chuba Phong GramPanchayat and in the NGO category Voluntary Health Associationof Sikkim (VHAS) was awarded.

North District was selected under the category -�Excellence in District Administration in the effectiveimplementation of MGNREGA� resulting in community-centricdevelopment in challenging physical environment. A screeningcommittee had carried out evaluation in North district fromJanuary 22 to 24 and had inspected the implementation of thescheme at Kabi, Mangan and Dzongu. They were impressed withthe level of community involvement in this highest, steepestand remotest district in the country, with a high tribalpopulation as well.

Milan Kumar Chettri, Panchayat Secretary of Chuba PhongGram Panchayat was instrumental in transforming a villagereeling under perennial drought by aligning the MGNREGAprogramme to the needs of the village. With full guidance andsupport from the DDO and the Block team they constructed 120household level water storage tanks of 10,000 litres capacityeach. more PTI COR MM

The villagers filled up these tanks from the running drinking-water supply at night and used the overnight storedwater for livelihood activities during the day.

With winters becoming increasingly dry, due to theimpact of climate change, this investment in rural watersecurity paid immediate dividends and the villagers were notonly able to meet their drinking water requirements but alsoused the surplus water for vegetable farming and animalhusbandry.

Under the MGNREGA Dhara Vikas program, the Nagi lakeat Namthang which had dried up 30 years back was beingrevived and this initiative would further boost the naturalecosystem and ground water regime of the region. Under theguidance of Milan Chettri, this village has effectivelydemonstrated climate-smart governance on how to adapt andmainstream climate change concerns in ongoing developmentalprograms, to transform the future of a village.

The Voluntary Health Association of Sikkim (VHAS)received the Rozgar Jagrookta Puraskar (Employment AwarenessAward) for promoting effective implementation of MGNREGA inthe State of Sikkim. VHAS has been spearheading awarenessgeneration and social audits over the last three years in thestate.

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