15 August : Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today called for people to rededicate themselves to work for unity and integrity of the country.
The Chief Minister addressed a huge gathering including VIPs, state officials, awardees, participants and public gathered on the grounds in front of the sprawling Nagaland Civil Secretariat, in the warm Kohima weather to celebrate India’s 62nd Independence Day.
Travelling a distance of about eight kilometres from his official residence, along the National Highways and main roads lined with the national tri-colour, the Chief Minister arrived at the venue at 9 a.m. and hoisted the National Flag to the strains of the National Anthem rendered by the Assam Rifles and Nagaland Police bands.
Stating that some of the most urgent tasks facing the country after 60 years of freedom are eradication of poverty, upliftment of the poor, empowerment of women, spread of quality education, improvement in health standards, creation of employment opportunities for unemployed youths and provision of clean drinking water and shelter for all, the Chief Minister asserted that Nagaland state joins the Union of India in her endeavour to meet these challenges facing the nation.
Highlighting the achievements of the state, Neiphiu Rio said it was a ‘proud’ and gratifying moment for the state when the state’s programme of communitisation was selected for the UN Public Service Award. He said the award is ‘an honour to the people of Nagaland’. He stated that the process of communitisation of elementary education has been successfully completed, while it is being revitalised in health and family welfare sector.
With declaration of 2008 as ‘Year of Capacity Building’, the Chief Minister stated that Rs. 20 crores has been earmarked for the current year and the exercise would target farmers, school dropouts, skill upgradation of government employees and the educated youth. The government has also launched e-Modop project in February 2008 which aims to offer a variety of services to citizens pertaining to various departments and central, state and local government agencies.
The Chief Minister stated that with tourism having a great potential to become an ‘industry’ in the state, plans are afoot for construction of helipads at famous tourist spots and to introduce helicopter services to such tourist destinations and for general sightseeing. He also said that the government’s declaration of music as an ‘industry’ is starting to pay rich dividends with Nagaland becoming a known landmark in the music map.
Neiphiu Rio said that the State Women Empowerment Policy is aimed at advancement, development and empowerment of women. He also said that the Department for Development of Underdeveloped Areas is introducing scholarship for meritorious students belonging to, and studying in Mon, Tuensang, Longleng and Kiphire districts.
The Chief Minister released a booklet on ‘Year of Capacity Building’ brought out by the Planning & Co-ordination Department. He took the salute from 22 parade contingents from the army, police, Bharat Scouts & Guides, NCC, Ex-Servicemen, Home Guards, Village Guards and Schools. He also gave away awards to recipients of Governor’s Gold Medal, Commendation Certificates and NCC Best Cadet awards. School children of G. Rio, Dainty Buds and Chandmari Higher Secondary School entertained the gathering with colourful presentations, while the Assam Rifles presented a spirited Bhangra dance performance.