Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Thursday announced the provision of home child care facilities for female employees of the State government after completion of their one-year maternity leave as a part of the State government’s initiative to improve the fertility rate in Sikkim.
In addition to the one-year maternity leave granted to all government women employees, the State government will provide child care aid to women employees through child care assistants for another year to ease their return to work. He added that women and widows above the age of 40 and who belong to economically backward sections will be appointed exclusively to deliver child care services at the working mothers’ residences for a year.
The Chief Minister made this announcement during the State-level Pre-Sonam Lochar Celebration 2023, organised by Sikkim Tamang Buddhist Association (STBA) here at Saramsa Garden in Ranipool today.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by his spouse, Sarda Tamang, Speaker, SLA, Arun Upreti, MP Lok Sabha, Indra Hang Subba, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Advisors, Chairpersons, Dharma Gurus from various monasteries, STBA members and representatives of diverse communities of the State.
Addressing the gathering as chief guest, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang expressed concern over the declining fertility rate in the State and shared that the provision of home-based child care facilities has been announced for aiding working mothers who have active participation in the State workforce. However, the child care assistant will not cater to other household chores, he added.
He further recapitulated a slew of financial and medical support extended to State government employees, including the recently announced increment for employees with two children and a double increment for those with more than two children. He reiterated the State government’s commitment towards the welfare of the government employees and added that a committee has been formed to review the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme in place of the New Pension Scheme.
Highlighting the importance of festivals in fostering community pride and strengthening collaborative relationships, Tamang urged all to strive hard to secure communal peace in the State based on purely non-political grounds. He stressed the need to preserve language to ensure the continuation of culture, customs and history of every community of the State and urged all to encourage students to study and promote their local languages actively.
He further stated that the demand put forth by the STBA for implementing the Land Protection Act to protect Tamang community’s land would be considered after due consultation.
On the occasion, the STBA felicitated Miss Tamang World 2021, Sang Doma Tamang, Passang Sherpa and Dilu Tamang of Dynamic Flicker’s Dance Academy, Ranipool and Buddha Tshering Tamang from Boomtar, Namchi for their outstanding performance and contributions in various fields.
The STBA also felicitated representatives of the associations of different communities of the State in recognition of the services provided for the welfare of their respective communities.
At the onset of the programme, Prem Singh Tamang visited the sale and exhibition stalls of tribal books and artefacts and the selfie photo booth set up at the premises and attended the prayer ceremony at Dazang.
The programme also featured song and dance performances and a live performance on the stage by guest artist Roj Moktan and others.
Earlier, the welcome address was delivered by President, STBA, Binod Tamang.
STBA member Nima Lo Tamang proposed the vote of thanks.