GUWAHATI, Aug 8 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today handed over Lokanayak Omeo Kumar Das Memorial Meritorious Award to brilliant students belonging to tea community and tea garden areas in recognition of their good results in the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) Examination at a function held at the ITA Centre of Performing Arts at Machkhowa in the city.
The awards, containing a cash reward, a citation and a dictionary each, were given to meritorious students belonging to three categories namely worker category, sub-staff category and staff category.
Organised by Assam Tea Employees Provident Fund Organisation, the programme was an attempt to recognise the good academic results of the students belonging to tea garden areas and to motivate them in their further studies.
Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal said, �Education is the tool through which society experiences paradigm shift to ensure quality of life. Ever since the present dispensation in the State has come to power, the government has attached utmost importance to the development of education especially in the tea garden areas.�
He also said, �Giving quality education to the students of tea garden areas is the fundamental duty of our government. Attempts are being made through the programmes like Digital India, Make in India, Start-up India for the empowerment tea community in the State.�
Reiterating the government�s commitment to developing the tea community, Sonowal said that right from distributing free textbooks and free admission in colleges to providing scholarships, his government has been taking several steps for educational development of the students of the State, including students belonging to tea garden areas.
He, however, said that the recent success of the students belonging to tea community in different fields of life has made the State confident, as the government is now looking for both micro and macro-level intervention for the development of tea communities.
Addressing the students present at the programme, Sonowal said Assam has enormous potential that can be harnessed judiciously to make the State a hub of trade and commerce in South East Asia.
He said that consequent upon the bilateral talks with Bhutan, the Druk Airlines will start its flight operation between Guwahati and Paro via Singapore from September 1.
Acknowledging the role played by tea communities towards the growth of the State economy, Sonowal said the aroma of Assam Tea would not have spread worldwide without the contributions of the tea garden workers.
Minister of State (independent charge) Labour and Employment Pallab Lochan Das, speaking on the occasion, gave a brief overview of several schemes that the government has taken and will take for the welfare of tea garden areas. He announced that the State government will construct auditoriums in tea gardens and an archery academy for women will be set up in memory of martyr Mangri Orang. Book fairs will also be organised in tea garden areas on November 2, 3 and 4.
He also said that for imparting coaching to UPSC aspirants, the State government will start coaching classes for 50 bright students belonging to tea garden areas. Moreover, coaching classes will also be organised for students seeking admission in engineering and medical courses. He also said that 100 new High Schools up to Class X in a PPP mode will be set up in tea garden areas.
Tinsukia MLA Sanjay Kisan, Duliajan MLA Terash Gowala, Lahowal MLA Rituparna Baruah, and senior journalists Prasanta Rajguru and Zarir Hussain also spoke on the role and contributions of the tea communities in the State. Chairman of the Tea Cell Prahlad Gowala, Chief General Manager of the State Bank of India Sunil Kumar Tendon and a host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion.