A delegation of eleven indigenous communities from Sikkim met the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh yesterday.

The delegation included representatives of communities including Rai, Mangar, Gurung, Thami, Bhujel, Jogi, Sanyasi, Giri, Newar, Khas (Bhawn and Chettri) and Dewan (Yakha). The delegation presented a memorandum to the Minister for providing Scheduled Tribes (ST) status to their communities. They also discussed various related issues such as their representation in the state assembly, reservation in jobs, income tax exemption and others. They also gave a presentation on the history, geography and other matters related to the state of Sikkim and their communities in particular.

While addressing the delegation, Dr Jitendra Singh said that he appreciates the contribution made by the communities and he will try to ensure that the justice is given to them. He said that the memorandum submitted by them will be taken up with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

Speaking on the importance and contribution of Sikkim, the Minister said that PM Narendra Modi accords very high priority to the North Eastern region. He said that the Prime Minister himself has also visited Sikkim. The Minister said that Sikkim has been declared ‘Organic State’ by the Government. Sikkim is the first state to be declared as ODF state, he added. He also said that the GDP and literacy of the state are also very high. He further said that Sikkim has excelled in the field of tourism as well. Due to all these reasons, Sikkim sets an example to be followed by other states, he said.

After giving a patient hearing to the delegation from Sikkim, Dr Jitendra Singh said that it is our responsibility to see that all sections of the society get due justice. Speaking on the occasion, Naveen Verma said that there is a defined process to be followed while including any community in the Scheduled Tribes list.

The senior officers of Ministry of DoNER were also present on the occasion.

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