GUWAHATI, July 31 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said the tea tribe community must accord priority to education if it wants to forge ahead on different fronts. �Knowledge is power and without it you cannot become a powerful person in society. The tea community must realise it and give importance to educating their sons and daughters so that they can climb up the ladder of success and make a mark in society.
�It augurs well that things are now changing for the better and students of tea tribe community are coming out with degrees,� Sonowal said while inaugurating a two-day State workshop organised by Assam Tea and Ex-Tea Labours� Development Association at Silpagram auditorium in Guwahati late evening yesterday, said an official press release here today.
Tracing the 200-year old rich history and legacy of the tea community in Assam, Chief Minister Sonowal said the tea community has inherent talents and skill and this must be brought to the fore through proper exposure. �I am optimistic that given exposure, the tea community�s inherent talents would make it a force to be reckoned with. After all, it is for them Assam Tea is known the world over,� he said.
Sonowal said his Government has taken up several schemes for the uplift of the tea tribe community in this year�s budget. The Government wants to take the tea community and other ethnic communities towards equitable growth and development.
Pointing out that expectations of people are too high, Chief Minister Sonowal said, �People are already judging our actions, whether they are good or bad. We are taking brickbats and bouquets in our stride as we proceed in our tryst with development. Being the Chief Minister, I too feel it is a litmus test for me as I confront the myriad problems plaguing the State and explore ways to overcome them. � In the same breath, Sonowal requested all sections of society to lend all possible support and cooperation to the new Government and added that he �wants to make it (Government) transparent, accountable and responsive to the needs of the people�.
Welcoming people�s active participation in important issues like auction of oilfields, VAT, special category status etc as healthy signs of democracy, Chief Minister Sonowal said, �So long people voice their concerns on issues vital to the State, the edifice of democracy will go on getting stronger. If they remain aloof or withdraw themselves from expressing their views, then the signs are not healthy for democracy. The quintessential beauty and essence of our democracy lies in the fact that the people are its intrinsic part and its guiding and driving force.� In this context, Sonowal said his Government would take all the communities into confidence as it intends to bring in transparency, accountability and responsiveness in governance and equity, inclusiveness and participation of people in the development processes.
Sonowal said that if Assam has to forge ahead on the development front, each and every community, together with the officials and employees, have to work with utmost sincerity and dedication in the days ahead.
Sonowal said the present Government wants to change the rural face of Assam and ease out the unemployment problem with the newly introduced ambitious scheme - Chief Minister�s Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana.
The Chief Minister asked the tea community and all sections of the society to be on alert in the backdrop of jihadi threats and presence of illegal foreigners in the State. �To nip in the bud the sinister designs of forces inimical to India, we have to be on vigil and not let our guard down,� he added.
The inaugural session was attended, among others, by Minister for Water Resources Keshab Mahanta, MLA Sanjay Kishan, actor Pranjal Saikia, Member, Tea Board, D. Tassa, leaders of the tea community A. Tanti and G. Kurmi.