Tea community is an integral part of Assamese society and they must be equally developed:Sonowal

From Bhupen Goswami

Guwahathi: “Tea community is an integral part of greater Assamese society and the community has contributed immensely to Assam’s socio-cultural development. The community, which has embraced Assam and Assamese as their own and assimilated into Assamese society, must be enabled to reap benefits of equal development.” Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said while laying foundation stone of construction work of 119 model high schools at tea gardens of the State at a programme held at Mekipur Tea Garden playground in Nazira, Sivasagar.

He also ceremonially launched the construction the model high schools at Mekipur and Bamunpukhuri tea gardens at Nazira at part of the initiative. Notably, an amount of Rs. 1.20 crore would be spent for building each model high school, which would be constructed by PWD and a total amount of Rs. 142.50 crore has been allotted from SOPD fund of 2020-21 for the entire project. The schools will have all amenities like modern class rooms, teacher’s rest rooms, entrance gates, separate toilets for teachers and students etc. and these schools are expected to greatly improve academic scenario in tea garden areas of the state. Speaking at the programme held on the occasion, the Chief Minister remarked that earlier state governments did not take substantial steps for developing the education sector in tea gardens after the independence and for that reason, the tea community had lagged behind in social and educational development for all these years. But since coming to power in 2016, the present state government has worked for equal development of all sections of the society following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s motto of ‘sabka sath, sabka bikash, sabka viswas’, he added.

Sonowal said that as part of the initiative of the state government to equally develop all communities living in Assam, today’s historic programme of laying the foundation stone for constructing 119 model high schools in tea gardens of the State has become possible for educational development of the tea community which has been living in Assam for nearly 200 years. He also paid tributes to martyrs of tea community in the country’s freedom struggle like Mangri Orang, Dayal Das Panika, Biju Baishnab etc. and said that with the historic step of setting up 119 model high schools in tea gardens the dream of many great personalities of the community would be fulfilled for true development of the tea community.

He also remembered the contributions made by various tea garden personalities in the development of the community. Saying that the State government would not confine the development initiatives of the tea community only to setting up of model high school, Sonowal spoke about the possibility of setting up colleges as well in the tea gardens in the future.

He called on the parents in the tea garden areas to motivate their children to take advantage of various schemes launched by the State Government for education of the students in the community and he also highlighted schemes like providing 80 MMUs in tea gardens, construction of roads in more than 800 tea gardens, Chah Bagicha Dhan Puraskar Mela, 25 thousand one time financial assistance to tea community youths for self employment, scholarships to meritorious students of the community, wage compensation to pregnant women of the community, smart phones to tea garden sardars, providing free rice in the tea gardens etc. as landmark initiatives of the State Government for the holistic development of the community.

Minister of State of PWD Jogen Mohan, MP Tapan Kumar Gogoi, youth leader of the tea community Prahlad Gowala, General Secretary of ATTSA Pawan Bedia also spoke in the programme and thanked the state government for the historic initiative for setting up model high schools in tea gardens. Several dignitaries were also present in today’s programme.

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