Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim – Shri P. S. Tamang (Golay), unveiled the Mero Rukh Mero Santati initiative in a launch programme organized in Mannan Kendra on February 2, 2023. The Mero Rukh Mero Santati is a novel green initiative conceptualized by Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay), the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim to strengthen the connection between parents, children and nature by planting trees to commemorate child birth. It aims to plant 100 trees for every newborn child born in Sikkim. Watching the tree grow, as the baby grows, will be a symbolic way of welcoming a new born and commemorating their arrival on this earth. This is the first of its kind innovative novel green initiative in India.
The programme included unveiling of logo, release of posters and brochures and a theme song. A very informative Nepali skit was also performed which depicted the process of parent enrollment, plantation demand and actual planting activities. The Hon’ble Chief Minister also distributed token seedlings to the new parents. Secretary Forests, Shri Pradeep Kumar in his welcome address emphasized how this revolutionary initiative will transform the attitude of the people towards nature and how the saplings planted to commemorate the child birth will turn into heritage and act as bridge between the generations. Hon’ble Minister Forest and Environment Department – Shri Karma Loday Bhutia in his speech highlighted the key aspects of this initiative including convergence with other Departments like Health and Family Welfare Department, Women and Child Welfare Department and Rural Development Department.
In his speech the Hon’ble chief minister highlighted that the Sikkimese society has an intimate association with nature since time immemorial. We not only revere our mountains, lakes, rivers, caves and springs, but venerate the entire landscape as sacred. This initiative aims to reinforce this age-old bond of our society with nature. It aspires to co-create an ecosystem where both the tree and the child are able to reach towards the sun, a brighter tomorrow that promises vitality, health and happiness.
The Chief Secretary of Sikkim – Shri V. B. Pathak IAS reiterated that to ground this initiative various departments of the Government of Sikkim will need to converge to facilitate seamless service to the new parents right from enrollment to planting and after care. ASHA, Anganwadi workers, gram panchayats, urban local bodies and forest staff will need to facilitate the onboarding of the parents. Digital platforms using multiple channels such as WhatApp, Email and Website have been enabled to connect with the new parents.
The new parents in their interaction deeply appreciated this noble initiative of the Government of Sikkim and promised full support and cooperation. Secretary Health in his concluding remarks elaborated about the transformative potential of initiative for the conservation of nature.