From A Correspondent
Tura, Sept 13: Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma stressed the need to be analytical of the issues concerning the youth and said there is a need to be aggressive in our approach to reach out to each and every youth, adding that all government initiatives and interventions have been based on this approach.
He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the newly-constructed Windham Tribal Boys' Hostel at the Harding Theological College campus at Edenbari near Tura on Wednesday afternoon. The inaugural programme was also attended by local MLA & Parliamentary Secretary Noverfield R Marak, West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi, host of other political party leaders, church leaders, government officials, principal, faculty members and students of Harding Theological College (HTC) and local residents of Edenbari.
Covering a total area of 2,500 sq ft, the hostel was constructed at a cost of Rs 1.29 crore "without compromising on the quality" although it was estimated at about Rs 6 crore, according to HTC Principal Dr Imnanungshi Imsong. While Rs 39 lakh was donated by the Chief Minister from CMRDF, Rs 90 was sanctioned under Article275 (1), Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs through the Department of Social Welfare. The hostel has been aptly named after Milton Windham, who was the first person to inhabit Edenbari, literally meaning the garden of Eden.
Admitting that the hostels run by government departments have generally been a failure, the Chief Minister said the best thing was to have a partnership with dedicated organisations with the right faculty to give the boys the right kind of handholding guidance.
Stating that the best outcome of any initiative can happen only when the government engages in partnership with the right group of people or organisation, Mukul expressed his happiness saying that the government has found a right partner in Harding Theological College. "However, it is only a humble beginning and it can really become a success story only when this initiative brings the desired transformation among our youth in the society," he said adding, "let this centre be a permanent partner for the government and an epicentre of all good things to happen in the future."
He also emphasised the need to connect with the past associated with Edenbari with all its lush greenery crisscrossed by clear flowing streams and put forward a proposal to the HTC to look at agro-farming and agro-entrepreneurship programmes for creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the local youth in their own backyard.
Formerly known as A'chik Theological College, the HTC is the only theological institution of the Garo Baptist Convention (GBC) and is also a centre for Missionary Training & Research with "Faith, Unity and Service" as its motto. The GBC resolved to shift HTC to its farmland at Edenbari that has multi-development projects.
From A Correspondent