The 5th Foundation Day of the West Bengal Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board was celebrated on the 22nd September2016. It was held in the Mela ground Kalimpong. The Hon. Chief Minister Madam MamataBannerjee, the ‘KingchoomDaarmit’ of the Lepchas graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Shri Arup Biswas, MIC PWD, Youth and Sports Affairs Departments, Shri Gautam Deb, MIC Tourism Department and Shri James Kujur MIC Tribal Development Department were present along with Reverend Stephen Lepcha, Bishop of Darjeeling and PadmashriBhaichungBhutia. Also present were Shri B. Bandopadhyay, Chief Secretary, Shri A. Purkayastha, Director General of Police, Shri S.K Thade Principal Secretary Tribal Development Department, Shri Barun Roy, Divisional Commissioner Jalpaiguri and senior officials of the Police and the District Administration. The heads of local Educational institutions, the Chairmen of all the Boards and other special invitees were also present.
The Hon. Chief Minister was givena rousing welcome by the gathering of Lepcha men and women and was offered “Phogorip” garland, so were all the respected guest at the pavilion. A welcome song and dance was presented by Lepcha children. The welcome address was made by Ren Yusuf Simick, the Vice Chairman of the Board.
The Hon. Chief Minister laid the foundation stones for four projects-the Youth Hostel, the Girls Hostel, the Lepcha welfare centre at Siliguri and School with Hostel at Kalimpong with total outlay of Rs 11.25 cr.The Hon. Chief Ministeralso dedicated to the people 8 (eight) Water Supply Schemes and 30 Night Schools constructed with an outlay ofRs 4.28 cr. benefitting about 45 thousand people in 98 villages. She also released 3 books on the occasion published by the Board. A rendition of Rabindra Sangit in Lepcha language was made by the Cultural troupe of the Boardwhen the Minister Indranil Sen joined in with the original Bengali recital to which the dancers performed to everyones delight. The beneficiaries of Ronglee Housing Scheme, Lok Prasar Prakalpa, Livestock schemes, Gitanjali etc. were then handed over chequesby the Honorable Chief Guest.
The Chairman of the Board Ren LyangsongTamsang in his address brought to light the various schemes being implemented by the Board and also the future plans and programs. He thanked the Hon. Chief Minister and the Government for enabling the Board to execute the Schemesthat have benefitted the community immensely.The Hon. Chief Minister then handed over cheques to the three new Kami, Damai and the Sarki Boards along with the Khambu Rai, Bhutia, Sherpa, Mangar, Limbu and the Lepcha Boards for undertaking development works.
The Hon. Chief Minister in her speech promised the people that even if she did not do well at the elections she will continue to look after the development of the people of Darjeeling who may belong to any community,during the course of which she was thunderously applauded. She said that the formation of the District of Kalimpong was aimed to achieve that purpose and asked the people to extend their support. She lauded the activities of the Lepcha Development Board and exhorted the other Boards to follow suit.
The vote of thanks was presented by Ren Bhupendra Lepcha and with the singing of the National Anthem the 5th Foundation Day of the West Bengal Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board came to a close.