International Women’s Day celebrated in Garo Hills

TURA: The International Women’s Day with the theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” was observed at different venues in different parts of Garo Hills on Friday.

In Tura, the programme was organised at P A Sangma Stadium, Dakopgre, Tura where Chairperson, Meghalaya State Commission for Women (MSCW), Thelin Phanbuh attended as Chief Guest. Thousands of Women from across the districts of Garo Hills regions attended the celebration of International Women’s Day in huge number.

Addressing the gathering,Thelin Phanbuh briefed about the history of the origin and background of Women’s Day celebration and lamented that even though the State of Meghalaya is Matrilineal, in reality, it is controlled by men and therefore, there is a necessity to demand to be part of the decision making process in the society.

Expressing her appreciation to Rev Fr Sunny Mavelil, the Director, Bakdil who organized the function, she said that she was experiencing for the first time a different and unique kind of celebration of Woman’s Day where such huge number of Womenfolk had gathered to witness the event and also share their talents among each other by showcasing their products in the stalls provided to them at the venue.

Further, while stating the qualities and values of woman, she reminded that children should be taught equal responsibilities since their childhood so that both boy and girl child learns the responsibility of looking after a family and build a better and stronger family in future. Moreover, she urged every woman to know their rights and avail the facilities provided by the government for the greater benefit of the people in the region.

During the function, the Chief Guest along with other dignitaries presented a Memento and Award to the Best Woman of the Year Award 2019, Three Best Stall Award, Best Block Coordinator, Best Banking Correspondent, Best Community Volunteers from Life Project, Best ANM from Bakdil run PHCs, Best SHGs and Award to committed Medical practitioners from Bakdil run PHCs.

Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills, Ram Singh, District Maternity and Child Hospital Officer, Tura Dr. Ivonne M Sangma, Retired Postmaster, General NE Circle, Milred, Rt. Rev, Andrew R Marak, Bishop of Tura, Director, Women Commission, Tura, Rev Fr. Theodore T Sangma, President, Casarina Educational Society and Winner of Vasundara NE Entrepreneur Awardee, Marina Marak, Member, MSCW, I Tariang,  SDVO, Dadenggre, S Marak, CDPO, Chonseng Arengh, were among others who spoke on the occasion.

During the function, the Chief Guest also presented the Special Award to Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills Ram Singh for his initiative to protect and preserve the environment and also for his campaign against use of plastics in the region. DMCHO, Tura Dr Ivonne M Sangma was also awarded the Woman of the Year Award 2019 for her contribution and successful implementation of Measles and Rubella Vaccination Campaign in the district.

In Resubelpara of North Garo Hills, the occasion was celebrated at Rajasimla, Multi Facility Centre where Additional Deputy Commissioner, T K Sangma was the Chief Guest.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest urged upon the womenfolk to be bold in expressing crimes perpetrated upon them to the concerned authorities.  She spoke at length about crimes against women such as sexual harassment at home or at workplace, dowry, domestic violence and other women related crimes.

Referring to the theme “Balance for Better” the ADC talked about creating gender balance and to understand its importance for a balance world. She was also of the view that women should be treated equally in all spheres of life.

Poshan Pakhwada was simultaneously launched on the day and the 1st anniversary of National Nutrition  Mission was also observed during the programme.

Among others who spoke during the celebration were, DSWO, M D Arengh, Medical Officer, N R Marak and Legal & Child Protection Officer, D M Sangma.

The occasion was also observed by the Don Bosco College Tura where Retired IAS, Lutherine R Sangma attended as the Chief Guest.

Addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest spoke at length on issues of gender equality, and empowerment of women. She stated that women are soft targets of social abuse and that until and unless women struggle they will not be empowered.

The Chief Guest also exhorted everyone present to be grateful to the Government for establishing Department of social Justice and Empowerment. She made special mention of the BAKDIL, the biggest NGO in Garo Hills and associated Self-Help Groups.

Guest of Honour, Ferline A Sangma also spoke on the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day Celebration, ‘Balance for Better’ and the great role that women play in their homes, society and the world at large. She pleaded for equal representation of women in all walks of life.

The resource persons for the occasion Agatha Christie, (MPS), DSP-Tura and Second in Command, 2nd MLP Battalion, Goeragre, Tura and Dr David R Sangma, MD spoke on the topics “Women- Safety” and “Women-Health” respectively. Rev Fr Bivan Rodriques Mukhim- Principal of the college and Dr Barbara S Sangma, Coordinator of Committee for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace also spoke on the occasion.

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