IMPHAL, Oct 4: The foundation stone laying ceremony of the Manipur Baptist Convention, MBC, Tribal Girls’ Hostel, the first among the eight Tribal Girls’ hostel funds for which has been sanctioned by the government under Central funding, was unveiled today by the chief minister, Okram Ibobi Singh.
The Central fund is for constructing several such hostels.
Today’s ceremony was organized by the MBC Tribal Girls’ Hostel building committee at the MBC campus and was also attended by DD Thaisii, Minister Tribal Development Hills, Veterinary & Animal Husbandary Manipur along with LP Gonmei principal Secretary, TD, Hills, Manipur.
Amidst laud applauses from the crowd, the chief minister announced various initiatives and developmental steps to be taken up by the government regarding the tribals of the state.
Ibobi, stated that educational institutes in the Imphal areas other than a few like the JNIMS, RIMS, NIT etc, lack hostel facilities and it was under the advice of senior political leaders like Dr Rishang Keishing, MP, that the government had sent proposal to the Central government for the construction of the Tribal Girls’ hostels.
While stating that it is under the initiative of the TD & Hills department that the construction of the Girls’ Hostel at the MBC campus would be made, he declared that of the various proposals sent for the construction of the hostels in the state, the Central government has accepted eight.
The government has already identified sites for these, he said. Thanking Vumthang Sitlou, general secretary, MBC for gifting him with a Bible, he also stated that entering a holy shrine purifies the mind and soul and that religion should not act as a deterrent to unity in the state, while adding that all religious leaders preached unity and peace among the people.
Regarding the market places in an around Imphal area, he has stated that the government will constitute a committee of representatives of all political parties of the state to chalk out the seating arrangement of the three newly constructed markets of Imphal.
He further clarified that since the three markets would be insufficient to accommodate all women vendors, the government has already taken up various initiatives to construct markets meant only for the tribal vendors coming to the capital from the interior places of the state for business.
He has also stated that people coming from the interiors of the state are facing numerous problems to sell their wares and do business in the capital, and as such the government is trying to locate another place for the tribal market in the capital other than the one which is under construction at New Lambulane, which the government is trying to complete at the earliest possible.
He summarized that since the Inter Bus Terminus is located at Deulahland, the nearby area would be the best location for the second tribal market.
For women vendors coming from the Chandel side he has also maintained that the government is trying to construct a market at a suitable place in Chanchipur.
On the management of the hostels, which will be handed over to MBC, he has suggested rain water harvesting and utilization of solar lamps so as to face the problems of water and electricity.
He also suggested that the management committee while admitting students into the hostels, which the government plans to finished at the earliest, should give preference to meritorious girl students from BPL families and should screened out candidates not interested in studies.
DD Thaisii, minister Tribal Development Hills, Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Manipur speaking on the occasion stated that his department will maintain a committee for the construction of the hostel to be time bound.
While maintaining that his department trusts the MBC that it will be able to maintain a systematic and disciplined administration in the running of the hostel, he stated that the main difficulties that the government had faced in locating the best site for the hostels was in ascertaining if the hostels would be able to serve the real purpose they were set up for.
LP Gonmei principal Secretary, TD, Hills, Manipur, in his keynote address stated that the MBC is extremely privileged to have the first girls’ hostel under the initiative of the state government.
He also stated the hostel with a 150 seating capacity has been set up with the main aim of promoting education among the tribal girl students.
He added that the Tribal Welfare department has three basic obligations towards the children of the state which are to protect the tribal people from other developed communities, prevention of atrocities against tribal people and promotion of education and economy of the tribal of the state.
He further added that the Central government has agreed to eight Tribal Girls’ hostel in the state for which the state government has already located the places at Purul, Tadubi, Kangpokpi and Senapati head quarter in Senapati district, Moreh and Pallel in Chandel, and MBC, Chingmeirong and near Liberal College at Imphal.
He has further maintained that the government has full faith in MBC that it will turn the hostel into a Model Girls’ hostel.
He has also added that the department has received half of the Rs 5 crore sanctioned by the Central government for the construction of the hostel.
Rev. Vumthang Sitlou, general secretary, MBC in his welcome address at the start of the ceremony stated that the Manipur Baptist Church is constituted by all communities of the state, and that it has around 1300 churches under the MBC in the state.
He had also maintained that the vision of the MBC is to maintain peace and development in the state.
While appreciating the chief minister for his love and care showed to MBC, he further maintained that the state has been able to move forward and maintain stability under the guidance the chief minister.
The celebration was also marked by a cultural show by Tarao Cultural Dance Troup among others.