Sikkim University, Vidya Bharati Sikkim, and Sikkim Vir Gorkha Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association came together to celebrate “Meri Mati Mera Desh” on August 31, 2023, at Chintan Bhawan in Gangtok, East Sikkim.
The event was graced by the presence of Hon’ble Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh Ji, Minister of State for Education and External Affairs, Government of India, as the Chief Guest. Brigadier Dhananjai Palsokar, Sena Medal, Deputy General Officer Commanding 17 Mountain Division, was the Guest of Honour. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Sanjay Garg, OSD-AKAM, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, while the event was chaired by Prof. Avinash Khare, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of Sikkim University. Other notable attendees included District Collector Tushar Nikhare, representatives from the Armed Forces, awardees, and students.
The program began with the Khada Arpan and Deep Prajwalan ceremonies. Prof. Veenu Pant introduced the program and delivered a welcome address. The highlight of the event was the Meri Mati Mera Desh pledge, which was administered by the Hon’ble Minister.
Dr. Sanjay Garg’s keynote address focused on the objective of Ajadi Ka Amrit Mohotsav, which aims to honor and recognize the unsung heroes of the Indian Freedom Struggle. He spoke about the various programs organized under the banner of Ajadi Ka Amrit Mohotsav and emphasized the importance of celebrating and honoring our unsung heroes.
Brigadier Dhananjai Palsokar, Sena Medal, shared his experiences serving on the border and highlighted the crucial role played by the Indian Forces. He emphasized the need for unity among all Indians, urging everyone not to divide themselves based on caste or religion.
Hon’ble Minister of State for Education and External Affairs, Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, spoke about India’s achievements in the past 75 years. He shed light on the idea behind Ajadi Ka Amrit Mohotsav, stating that it aims to recognize the contributions of all freedom fighters who may not have been adequately acknowledged. He encouraged all citizens to contribute towards the goal of 2047 and reiterated the importance of moving India forward. The Minister expressed gratitude to the brave soldiers and acknowledged the unwavering commitment of the Indian Armed Forces in safeguarding the nation. He also emphasized that as the journey of Amrit Mohotsav concludes, a new journey begins, known as Kartavya Kaal. He stressed the importance of remembering those who never returned from the borders and showing respect for their sacrifices and their families. He concluded his speech by thanking the Gorkha soldiers, Sikkim University, and Vidya Bharati Sikkim.
Following the Minister’s speech, a program was held to honor decorated soldiers and the families of martyrs from the Indian Armed Forces. Mementos were also presented to the esteemed guests.
The event concluded with a Presidential Address by Prof. Avinash Khare, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of Sikkim University. Prof. Khare highlighted the university’s efforts in language preservation, the implementation of the National Education Policy, and emphasized the importance of preserving traditions and languages in the Kartavya Kaal.
The event ended on a patriotic note, with all attendees joining in singing the national anthem.