The Sikkim Democratic Front’s Youth Front celebrated International Youth Day as an online program today. The theme for the program was “Youth Envisioning a Different Future in Times of COVID-19”. The program hosted over Zoom took place from 10am to 4pm. The opening remarks were given by Shri MK Subba who highlighted some pertinent issues pertaining to the identity of Sikkim and its repercussions for the youth. Highlighting how the identity of Sikkim is being diluted by the SKM government, MK Subba charged that the government is in a “symbiotic relation with external forces” which are diluting our identity. This was followed by short speeches by young speakers – Arjun Chettri who spoke on education, Karma Topden on the economy, Anuradha Tamang on Climate Change and Urbashi Khaling who spoke on the topic of Youth in politics. A performance by young rappers – Yela 07., Suzee and AG – highlighted the absolute dissatisfaction with the type of change that has come in Sikkim and shared their thoughts on their current experiences through rap. This was followed by a debate competition on the topic “Youth in Sikkim are able to exercise Freedom of Expression” which was won by the team against the motion led by Chuki Sherpa and Anamika Gurung while the runners-up were Ajit Basnet and Abhishek Chettri. The program was concluded by Sandeep Rai who summarised the first session of the program. The program was emceed by Ram Gurung.
The second session was flagged off with the Panel Discussion on the theme “Education and COVID-19”. The panel was introduced by Shri P.D. Rai, Former MP (Lok Sabha) and Sr VP SDF, and its speakers were Mrunal Savant, Rutwik Phatak, Deepak Tamang and Bandhana Sharma. The panel was moderated by Raymond Kharmujai, journalist, Shillongand Jiwan Rai, political analyst, Sikkim. The panel delved upon the seriousness of the crisis in education due to the pandemic. The Guest of Honour Shri Kalikesh Singh Deo, Former MP Lok Sabha, Orissa, spoke about the role of youth in politics.
The Presidential Address was given by Shri Pawan Chamling, Hon’ble Party President, who addressing the youth called for all the young people in Sikkim to take up the democratic responsibility that is upon them. He urged the youth to come forward in taking leadership in various fields of their choice, not just politics. Speaking on the topic of education, Shri Chamling pointed to the work done by the SDF government in the field of education, highlighting that SDF made education free up to college level and that university education started under SDF. Shri Chamling also spoke about how State OBC recognition was given in Sikkim in 2003. In 2021 today, the Central Government is now passing a bill in the parliament allowing states to list state OBCs. Sharing that many of Sikkim’s programs – organic mission, one family one job which was also included in the manifestos of many Indian political parties recently, and the State OBC listing – are now being replicated nationally, Shri Pawan Chamling stressed that under SDF, we took Sikkim in the right direction and that it’s a matter of pride that our programs are now being replicated by others across the nation. In the end, he stressed that the people, especially the youth, should take collective responsibility for the state. He urged the students to take up politics with responsibility, as politics is the father of all sciences. Speaking about SDF, he stressed that the party is run under the idea of collective leadership. In the long tenure of SDF, the party never led a coalition government and protected its regional nature. The vote of thanks was given by Publicity General Secretary Sharad Kharka. As part of the International Youth Day program, the SDF youth of West District undertook a blood donation camp and the other districts will be holding blood donation camps on the 16th of August. The program was a wonderful success and the SDF Youth Front thanked each and every participant, speaker, attendees and all members of the SDF party for making the program a huge success.
General Secy., Youth Front