FROM A REPORTER
SHILLONG, Aug 14: Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma met and interacted with the surrendered GNLA cadres, who are being kept at 2nd MLP Bn Rehabilitation Camp at Goeragre, near Tura on August 14, the eve of Independence Day.
The Chief Minister, who was en route to Shillong for Independence Day celebration, persolly interacted with each one of the 49 surrendered cadres and also reviewed the activities being done for the rehabilitation of these cadres.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by the Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi, DIG (Western Range) S.S. Kynjing and, Church leader and Interlocutor, Rev. F.D.Sangma and Commandant 2nd MLP Bn C.B.S Reddy during his visit.
It may be mentioned that the three parties which surrendered to the Government in the month of May last reported at separate intervals at the 2nd MLP Bn Goeragre, some of whom were initially kept in 4th MLP Bn Sophian, West Khasi Hills. These surrendered cadres are being imparted psychological counseling, religious counseling and skill development trainings by various NGOs and government agencies since the past few weeks.
The Chief Minister said he was happy to meet each one of them persolly and that their homecoming was a reason to be happy not only for their families and relatives but also for all the people of Garo Hills.
Stating that the rehabilitation package being given to them would not subsist for long, he urged upon them take up long term sustaible livelihood means through various programmes being offered by the Government and not to look at short cut method for livelihood. He encouraged them to move ahead with faith and conviction in whatever they intend to take up for livelihood, assuring them all the required support from the government in their endeavours.
The Chief Minister stressed the need to give handholding support to the surrendered cadres and provide necessary guidance to them on viable livelihood options available.
He suggested to the officials present that the cadres be taught about business models, train them to be agro-entrepreneurs and create schemes for them in groups mixing up with the community.
He further suggested to the authorities to take them on exposure trips to success areas like Dawki, Mawlynnong, etc in batches so that they are able see, learn and emulate the same in their respective villages.
Commandant, 2nd MLP Bn C.B.S.Reddy and DSP R.G.Momin were among others who spoke briefly on the occasion.