TURA, Sep 13: Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma has stressed the need to be analytical of the issues concerning the youth and said that there is need to be aggressive in our approach to reach out to each and every youth, adding that all government’s initiatives and interventions have been based on this approach.
He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the newly-constructed Windham Tribal Boys’ Hostel at the Harding Theological College campus at Edenbari near Tura on Wednesday afternoon. The inaugural programme was also attended by local MLA and Parliamentary Secretary, Noverfield R. Marak, West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi, host of other political leaders and church leaders, government officials, Principal, faculty members and students of Harding Theological College (HTC) and local residents of Edenbari.
The hostel, covering a total area of 2500 sq.ft., was constructed at a cost of Rs. 1.29 crore “without compromising on the quality” although it was estimated at about Rs.6 crore, according to the Principal, HTC, Dr. Imnanungshi Imsong. Rs. 39 lakh was donated by the Chief Minister from CMRDF while Rs. 90 was sanctioned under Article275 (1), Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs through the department of Social Welfare. The hostel has been aptly named after Milton Windham who was the first person to inhabit Edenbari, literally meaning the Garden of Eden.
Admitting that the any hostels run by government and government departments have always been a failure, the Chief Minister said the best thing was to have a partnership with dedicated organizations with the right faculty to give the boys the right kind of handholding guidance. Stating that the best outcome of any initiative can happen only when the government engages in partnership with the right group of people or organization to drive forward its programme, the Chief Minister expressed his happiness saying that the government has found a right partner in Harding Theological College.
“However, it is only a humble beginning and it can really become a success story only when this initiative brings the desired transformation among our youth in the society”, he said adding, “let this centre be a permanent partner for the government and an epicenter of all good things to happen in the future.”
He also emphasized the need to connect with the past that is associated with Edenbari with all its lush greenery and crisscrossed with clear flowing streams and put forward a proposal to the HTC to look at agro-farming and agro-entrepreneurship programmes for creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the local youths in their own backyard.
It may be mentioned that Harding Theological College (formerly known as A’chik Theological College) is the only theological institution of the Garo Baptist Convention (GBC) and is also Centre for Missionary Training & Research, with “Faith, Unity and Service” as its motto. GBC resolved to shift HTC to its farmland at Edenbari, which has multi development projects.