Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma flags govt’s achievements in I-day speech

Shillong, August 15: Greeting the people of the state  on the occasion of 76th Independence Day  and recalling the sacrifices of the country’s freedom fighters, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today highlighted the ‘achievements’ of his over 4-year-old government’s in his Independence Day speech delivered while presiding over the state-level celebrations here.

Here is the full text of the CM’s speech: 

I convey my heartfelt greetings to the people of Meghalaya on the historic
occasion of completing 75 years of independence. Today is a proud and
emotional day for all of us as we remember, with gratitude, the sacrifices
made by the leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,
Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Patel and Bhagat Singh. We also salute the
valour and commitment of the patriots from Meghalaya, U Tirot Sing, U
Kiang Nangbah and Pa Togan Sangma.

Seventy-five years of independence is a huge milestone in the history of our
country. This year also coincides with 50 years of statehood for Meghalaya.
Today is a momentous day – a day to reaffirm our commitment to values of
courage, non-violence, kindness, and empathy that inspired our freedom
struggle and the hill state movement.

Friends, I am delivering the Independence Day speech for the 5th time as
your Chief Minister. It has been four and half years since my government
came to power. In these four and half years, the State has gone through
several challenges and has also overcome them. We survived the COVID
pandemic, we have successfully dealt with law-and-order issues and are
resolving long pending issues in the sectors of education, health, power,
water supply and basic infrastructure. I look back on the work of my
government with a sense of pride and satisfaction. I believe we have been
able to make the lives of every citizen better. That is what this government
stands for – making things better, creating new opportunities for growth,
caring for all sections of the society, building Meghalaya as a national and
global destination, and working together for every Meghalayan.

How is this government making people’s lives better ? We are making
people’s lives better by creating the right ecosystem that enables and
empowers people to solve problems. For instance, our farmers need money
during the planting and harvesting seasons. My government is giving 10,000
rupees to every producer household to support them in production
activities under the FOCUS and FOCUS+ programs. With this money, farmers
are empowered to solve their problems through local decentralized action.

We are also providing free seeds, setting up processing units and providing
marketing support. Our youth have a lot of energy and passion and want to
take up several community-based activities. I started the YESS Meghalaya
program to provide funding support of up to one lakh rupees to all youth
organizations in the State. This will empower our youth organizations to play
a decisive role in making Meghalaya better. Our entrepreneurs today get
end-to-end support to build businesses and startups under the PRIME
program. Our youth are taught soft skills to improve their confidence
through the ASPIRE program. Our musicians are being provided
performance platforms like never before under the Meghalaya Grassroots
Music Project.

We have also revived the Meghalaya Games after a gap of 16
long years and will be hosting the Northeast Olympics this year. A series of
festivals with music and tourism as the themes have been organized for
building brand Meghalaya.


The health and economic well-being of women has been accorded the
highest priority. The IMR of Meghalaya has come down from 33 in 2018 to
29 in 2022. We are the amongst the top three State’s alongside Telangana
and Kerala in child immunization. At least one woman for every rural
household is part of a Self-Help Group and they are taking up various
livelihood and enterprise related activities. We have recently enhanced the
remuneration of ad-hoc teachers, streamlined the payments of incentives to
ASHA workers, muster rolls and contractual employees.

My government has built enabling infrastructure in the form of improved
schools and hospital buildings, roads, and water supply schemes across the
State. New sports, tourism and urban infrastructure are being constructed
at a remarkable pace. I do not think any government in the past has been
able to deliver at this scale in such a short span of time. I am proud to say
that we are today, as a State, miles ahead of where we stood a few years
back.

The work of this government and the State has been globally and nationally
recognized and appreciated recently. Meghalaya won the United Nations
World Summit on the Information Society Award in Switzerland for digital
innovations in governance. It was a moment of great pride for me when I
received the award personally. Our State was also ranked as the top
performer alongside Gujarat and Karnataka in the National Startup Rankings
for 2021. This means that amongst the smaller states, Meghalaya provides
the best ecosystem for building businesses. We have performed well in the
NITI Aayog’s innovation index. Further, the Government of India has praised
the implementation of the Externally Aided Projects in our State and has
provided us with additional grant funding to expand the projects. We are
today among the top states in the implementation of externally aided
projects that are awarded to the States based on merit, performance, and
innovations.


Meghalaya is also amongst the best states in the implementation of
programs such as MGNREGS, Jal Jeevan Mission and PMGSY. We are the
second most improved State under the Jal Jeevan Mission. In 2019, only
4,500 of rural households had tapped water connectivity, whereas today,
2.5 lakh households have tapped water connection. With a 60-fold increase
in coverage, we have improved the lives of lakhs of women and children who
have been saved from the drudgery of fetching water from far-off places.
For instance, the remote village of Kamsing in West Jaintia Hills is nestled
deep in the gorges along the Indo-Bangladesh border where the river
Myndtu serves as the only mode of transportation. The entire community
had to trek down the steep and dangerous hillside to reach the river, their
only source of water. With the accelerated implementation of the Jal Jeevan
Mission, every family in Kamsing now has access to clean and safe water
within the premises of their homes. This is the kind of progress that my
government is delivering in hundreds of villages of the State.

Today, Meghalaya is looked upon as the next emerging State. Multilateral
Donors like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank and organizations
like the IKEA foundation and Amazon India are partnering with and investing
in the State and its entrepreneurs. This is the new Meghalaya. A Meghalaya
of pride, hope, ambition, and opportunities. A Meghalaya where the citizens
have faith and trust in the government and a Meghalaya which is confident.
We have painstakingly built this Meghalaya over the last four and half years.
I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the farmers, the youth, the
women, the community leaders and all the residents for participating in the
rise of this new Meghalaya.

Friends, our farmers, livestock rearers, weavers, artisans and other
producers in the primary sector are the bedrock of economy. The flagship
initiative for the State’s producers is the FOCUS program which envisages
the bottom-up collectivization of producers into groups. The producer
groups are provided an amount of Rs. 5,000 per producer as a group corpus
for increasing production and productivity. This program is a firm step to
empower our farmers to come together and solve their immediate
problems.

It has been one and half years since the FOCUS program was launched, and
the outcomes are very encouraging. The program currently covers almost
19,000 producer groups comprising 2.5 lakh families, 330 cooperative
societies and about 80 aggregation and processing centers. Hundreds of
success stories are emerging from the FOCUS program. In the Iaraplang
Poultry Producer Group at Mawthadraishan, Eastern West Khasi Hills, the
farmers used the FOCUS fund of Rs. 75,000 to build a chicken coop and
purchase chicken feeds. They are now supplying chicken in bulk to the
weekly market and earning a consistent income. In Rongram, West Garo Hills
a group of women came together to form the Bluebell Producer Group
centered around weaving. They used the FOCUS fund of Rs. 50,000 to set
up a workshop and procure raw materials. They now produce garments that
are being sold in Tura and Shillong. They even reinvested the profits to
upgrade the sewing machines and are exploring markets in Guwahati and
beyond.

Given the stupendous success and demand of the FOCUS program, I have
recently launched the FOCUS+ program. Under this, an unconditional and
untied annual cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 shall be provided to each producer
household. With the FOCUS and the FOCUS+ programs, each household will
receive a cash benefit of Rs. 10,000 per annum. This is a momentous
occasion as for the first time in the history of our State, producers are being
empowered through direct cash transfer, both to group and to individual
accounts.

The other interventions that have been undertaken for the overall
development of the primary sector include mission mode projects for
lakadong turmeric, piggery, milk, honey, pineapple, jackfruit, mushroom,
ginger and spices.

The number of farmers engaged in the cultivation of Lakadong turmeric has
increased from about a thousand in 2018 to more than 10,000 now. We have
set up 15 aggregation and processing units and would soon be setting up a
state-of-the-art curcumin extraction unit. The price realization for the
turmeric farmers has risen by almost 40%. One of the inspiring stories under
the Lakadong Mission comes from the village of Saphai in the Laskein block,
West Jaintia Hills. The Iakyntulang SHG was formed in 2017 and was engaged
in piggery farming during the initial period. With the launch of Mission
Lakadong in the year 2018, the SHG received over 560 kg of good-quality
rhizomes of the Lakadong turmeric. The SHG members received training
under the mission and consequently diversified their livelihood by
cultivating Lakadong turmeric. They produced about 1,800 Kg of Lakadong
in the first year and replanted 1,500 Kg of it in the next season. With the
subsequent expansion in the cultivation area, the SHG members produced
over 9,000 kg of Lakadong Turmeric in 2021. The produce was sold as
rhizome, processed into dry flakes and also sold as Lakadong turmeric
powder. The group was given a grant to set up an aggregation and primary
processing unit. With all these interventions, the group increased its income
from Rs. 24,000 in 2019 to Rs. 64,000 in 2020 and Rs. 2 lakhs in 2021.

Remarkable progress is being made in the horticulture sector. This year, for
the first time, cooperative societies from Garo Hills came together to supply
over 32 tonnes of pineapples to export units in Karnataka. The ‘Silchang
Dirimbri Palwang Ading’ cooperative society from Rongjeng, East Garo Hills
mobilized 61 farmers to aggregate 11 tonnes of pineapples for bulk sale.
Thanks to this marketing initiative, the income of the farmers in the group
increased by 33%.

Another transformative intervention is the Ginger Mission. Through the
mission, we have distributed 3,000 tonnes of the high-yield varieties such as
IISR Varadha, IISR Mahima and Nadia and local varieties like Ing Makir to
about 16,000 farmers in 825 Villages. The production of ginger is expected
to touch a record high this season. The overall production in the State will
increase from 60,000 tonnes to 1.5 lakh tonnes in the next three years.
Warehousing facilities and processing units of ginger are being set up to
ensure that farmers get the best price.

Meghalaya is implementing India’s largest piggery mission. Within our own
State, there is an annual production-consumption gap of approximately
10,000 tonnes of pork. This translates into Rs. 300 crores of value. The
piggery mission will bridge this gap and provide increased nutritional
security and better incomes for our farmers. Over 250 cooperative societies
have already availed zero-interest loans to set up about 1,100 breeding units
and 4,000 fattening units. We also recently launched the Backyard Piggery
Scheme under which 10,000 pig farmers in the State will receive four piglets
each. Along with piggery, goatery, dairy and fishery sectors are also being
prioritized.

As our farmers increase production, they will need additional transportation
facilities. The successful model of 1917 iTEAMS is being expanded through
the ‘Meghalaya Agriculture Response Vehicle Scheme.’ Through the
scheme, we will provide 50% financial aid for the purchase of 200 agrivehicles.
The initial response to the scheme is very encouraging. We have
received about 1,500 applications. The applications are currently being
shortlisted and we will start distributing the vehicles very soon.

Friends, we are a young State. Seven out of ten Meghalayans are less than
35 years old. The youth have the responsibility of transforming the economy,
preserving the heritage and bringing laurels to the State. This government
has undertaken many youth-centered initiatives over the last four and a half
years.


A key priority for youth is employment. Entrepreneurship is the route
through which our youth can become job creators. The PRIME program has
already benefitted 1,300 entrepreneurs over the last three years. We have
been handholding these entrepreneurs in making business plans, applying
for loans, getting certifications, and exploring new markets.

In addition to creating employment opportunities, our entrepreneurs are
also solving many day-to-day problems by being socially and
environmentally conscious. For instance, Albert Lyngdoh and Evadariline
Shylla who have co-founded ‘Managing Impact on Agriculture’ develop ecofriendly
fencing for rivers to prevent floods, protect farmland, and prevent
soil run-off. The startup also does large-scale production of special bamboo
for commercial uses and agriculture activities. They have engaged about
1,500 farmers in Ri Bhoi district and are helping them realise improved
incomes while making a positive impact on the environment. I am optimistic
that with support from the PRIME program, we will have many more such
startups that will not just create employment but also make Meghalaya an
ideal destination to invest in.

My government is also adopting technology on a large scale for job creation.
The Information Technology Park at Shillong was operationalized this year
and is already providing jobs to thousands of our youth. The second phase
of the Information Technology will also be initiated this year. We are using
advanced technology such as drones for delivery of services. During the
recent floods, we used drones to deliver medicines in villages in South Garo
Hills that had been completely cut off. We also successfully piloted the aerial
spray of fertilizers on standing arecanut crops in East Khasi Hills and South
Garo Hills. Large scale deployment of such technologies will create
employment opportunities in the immediate future.

Another significant program that has been launched for the well-rounded
development of the youth is the ASPIRE program. The youth need
confidence to articulate their views, and platforms to showcase their
talents. Under the ASPIRE program, talented kids are being identified in all
the districts and will participate in a State level talent competition. I would
like to mention talented kids like Linia Sangma of Mendipathar, North Garo
Hills who is excelling in sketching; Emi Da-O Sumer from Ummulong, West
Jaintia Hills who makes miniature musical instruments carved of wood;
Demithius Rongthaluh from Umden, Ribhoi who is honing his skills in mixed
martial arts; Chisemchi N. Sangma from West Garo Hills who is shining in the
art of mimicry and Mistila Sun from Umroi, Ribhoi who is now a two-time
national gold medalist in skipping. We have already covered 20,000 students
under the ASPIRE program. Our goal is to expand the coverage of this
program to 1 lakh kids in the next few years.


My government recently launched a talent identification program for sports.
Under the program, 4,600 children in the age groups of 10-18 have been
tested on international standards for their athletic abilities. The initial
findings are very encouraging. We have identified dozens of kids whose
athletic abilities are at par and even better than international benchmarks.
For instance, Raksan Sangma, a 17-year-old boy from South West Garo Hills
clocked 2.84 seconds in 20-meter sprint against the international benchmark
of 2.99 seconds. Another 17-year-old girl from Eastern West Khasi Hills,
Ibaihun Kurbah clocked 3.47 seconds against the international benchmark
of 3.50 seconds. This exercise demonstrates the utility of early identification
of sporting talent. We will ensure that these kids undergo proper training
and bring accolades to the State and the country in the coming years.

Music and festivals are an integral part of the lives of our people. Under the
‘Meghalaya Grassroot Music Project’, small music events are being
organized in Shillong, Sohra, Tura and Jowai. To date over 60 such events
have been organized and are being received well. The project is providing
platforms to musicians such as Kido Alph, Jeremy Sangma, Melvyn Pathaw
and Andrea Tariang among others. Many more such artists are flourishing
with the support from government and are even getting international
recognition. For instance, Summersalt band from Shillong recently
participated in the India Week at Hamburg, Germany.

Another issue that is of utmost importance for the youth is substance abuse.
The government is taking every step to stop the supply and consumption of
drugs in the State. I would also like to exhort all parents, educational
institutions, and youth organizations to pay due attention to this menace. I
also implore everyone to stay away from such vices and work towards
building a healthy and drug-free Meghalaya.

My government has taken huge strides in improving the overall health
indicators for women and children. We are now amongst the top three
states alongside Telangana and Kerala in terms of immunization coverage.
The Early Childhood Development Mission has been launched to tackle the
issue of malnutrition among children. Quality health care services are being
made available to mothers and infants under the Chief Minister’s Safe
Motherhood Scheme. About 80 transit homes and 150 vehicles for transport
of high risk pregnant and expectant mothers are in place under the scheme.

Friends, out-of-pocket expenses for health-related matters is a big burden
on our citizens. One major illness is sometimes enough to push an entire
family into poverty for years. My government is pushing to expand the
coverage of MHIS to help the citizens access quality and affordable
healthcare. The coverage under MHIS has gone up from 2 lakhs under MHIS
One (1) to almost 4.7 lakh households under MHIS Four (4). The program has
been a much-needed relief for the poor who earlier could not access quality
healthcare.

The ASHA workers are now receiving timely payments through the
Integrated Health Platform. My government disbursed Rs. 80 crores as
incentives to ASHA workers in the last four years compared to Rs. 18 crores
that was disbursed during 2012 to 2018.

We have also been paying special attention to making women self-reliant
and independent. In 2018, there were 5,800 SHGs in the State, whereas
today, there are over 41,000 SHGs. The amount disbursed to them has also
grown multifold from Rs. 6 crores to over Rs. 280 crores during this period.
The SHG movement has transformed the lives of many women in our State.
Among the thousands of beneficiaries is Kong Catherine Marki from
Mawphrow in Umling. Her family was entirely dependent on farming for
their sustenance. She would have a difficult time meeting ends during the
off-season. After joining the SHG, she obtained a loan and purchased a taxi.
This enterprise has become an additional source of income for her and her
family, in addition to helping people during medical emergencies.

Along with women and children, we have also been caring and respectful
towards the elderly. They have played the most significant roles in shaping
our State and the country. Today senior citizens, single mothers and persons
with disabilities get a support of Rs. 500 per month which amounts to Rs.
6,000 annually. I believe it is time to increase the government support to
senior citizens, single mothers, and persons with disabilities. Continuing
with my agenda of making everyone’s lives better, I am increasing the
pension from Rs. 500 per month to Rs. 750 per month for all beneficiaries
under the Chief Minister’s Social Assistance Program and the National Social
Assistance Program. This enhancement will become effective from
September 2022 and will benefit the 1.82 lakh vulnerable and needy citizens.

Our beautiful State, with such large bio-diversity, is vulnerable to climate
change. The torrential rains in June caused flooding and landslides that were
acute in areas of South Garo Hills, South West Khasi Hills, East Khasi Hills and
East Jaintia Hills. I would like to thank the Indian Air Force, the BSF and all
other armed forces for their support. I personally visited these places to
assess the damage and am deeply saddened by the loss of lives. My government swung into immediate action and is working on a war footing
to restore the damages caused to crops, property, roads, bridges, water
supply schemes and power lines. I am committing an investment of Rs. 250
crores for the various restoration works. I am hopeful that we will complete
the restoration works within the next six to 12 months.

We have also undertaken several environmental initiatives over the last four
and a half years. I had launched the ‘One citizen One tree’ campaign in 2019
to exhort all the citizens to plant at least one tree. We have planted 25 lakh
trees across 450 villages in the last two years. Now, to give a further push
to conservation and involve community at a large scale, we have launched
the ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ program which is the largest such
program in the country. Under the program, we will compensate individuals
and communities with Rs. 15,000 per hectare of forest as an incentive to
protect forests.

To overcome the challenge of water shortage, we have successfully
completed multiple projects to conserve and restore the water bodies. For
instance, Aminda Simsanggre village in West Garo Hills is home to 95
households. They are dependent almost entirely on agriculture for livelihood
but faced severe water scarcity. Through a convergence between CLLMP
and MGNREGS, water bodies of the village were recharged successfully.
Today, the village has year-round access to water for domestic and
agricultural purposes. It was recently conferred with the ‘National Water
Award’ by the Government of India. Other examples of successful water
conservation practices in the State include the villages of Mawrah in East
Khasi Hills, Sasatgre in West Garo Hills and Rongdong in South Garo Hills.
The villages are not just benefitting from round-the-year availability of
water, but also from the increased tourism-related activities. Given the
success of these initiatives, we will be constructing almost 1,000 smallmultipurpose
reservoirs all over the State over the next five years.

In addition to rural areas, cities too must grow for accelerated development
in the State. We are undertaking multiple interventions to decongest
Shillong and make it more vibrant. About 870 acres of land has already been
acquired at Mawpadang for constructing a futuristic township. Key bypasses
that would enable tourists and others to bypass Shillong town on
their way to Sohra, Nongstoin, Pynursla and Jowai are under construction.
These include the Ranigodam-Mairang road, the Mawlyndep-Mawmaram
road and the Shillong-Diengpasoh road. We are also working on
decongesting traffic in Shillong by introducing a mix of electric and
conventional buses for public transport and schools. In a recent study, it was
found that almost 60% of students use private vehicles and only 11% of the
citizens use public transport for their commute. To tackle this anomaly, we
will be introducing 60 buses in Shillong which will take off almost 1,800 cars
from the city roads during peak hours.

Several interventions are also being made in Tura and Jowai. Apart from
beautification initiatives, large infrastructure such as stadia, convention
centers, roads, colleges and facilities for solid waste management are being
taken up.

Friends, quality infrastructure remains a core priority area of this
government. To improve administrative infrastructure, new block
complexes have been sanctioned for all the 46 blocks in the State. We have
renovated and added additional capacity at 80 health facilities over the last
one year. Further, almost 200 health facilities have been enabled with solar
power and energy efficient equipment. We are also upgrading the buildings
at 208 government schools. We have started the process to renovate the
infrastructure at all the 1,200 government schools. Further, buildings for the
Shillong Government College of Engineering, College of Architecture and
Urban Planning, Tura and the Captain Williamson Sangma State Technical
University and Model Degree Colleges at Patharkhmah in Ri Bhoi and
Rongjeng in East Garo Hills are nearing completion. The infrastructure at
three government colleges at Baghmara in South Garo Hills, Sohra in East
Khasi Hills and Williamnagar in East Garo Hills are also being upgraded. A
National Law University shall also be established in the State within the next
two years to cater to the aspiring law students.

In the water supply sector, apart from making significant progress under the
Jal Jeevan Mission, we have also completed large water supply projects in
Tura in West Garo Hills and Sohra in East Khasi Hills. The water supply
schemes in Baghmara in South Garo Hills, Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills and
Greater Shillong in East Khasi Hills are nearing completion. The Williamnagar
Water Supply Scheme has recently been sanctioned for Rs. 121 crores. In the
roads sector, we have built almost 3,800 km of rural roads and connected
over 550 rural habitations under PMGSY. Several other large road projects
such as Rongram-Phulbari hill road and the Pasiyah-Garamapani road are
also nearing completion. The Ganol hydroelectric project is close to
completion and the Riangdo hydroelectric project is progressing well.

Another sector where a major push is being given to developing
infrastructure is tourism. To increase the number of accommodation units,
we launched an innovative ‘Homestay scheme’ in convergence with the
PMEGP. Under this program, the State government will provide a subsidy of
35%, in addition to the 35% subsidy given by the Government of India under
PMEGP. My goal is to build 2,500 such homestays in the next five years. The
residents will benefit as they stand to earn up to Rs. 50,000 per month
paying an EMI of only Rs. 5,000.

Tourism cooperative societies are being funded like never before to set up
accommodation units in new destinations. For instance, through the funding
provided by the government, the Mawmluh Tourism and Allied Activities Cooperative
Society has set up luxury tents at Mawmluh, Sohra. This has
created employment opportunities for the 15- 20 locals in the village. Similar
initiatives are being taken up in another 25 villages to create employment
and generate income in rural areas.

Further, two five-star hotels with a combined room capacity of 380 rooms
will be operationalized soon in Shillong city. The Crowborough hotel
managed by Taj Vivanta will be inaugurated in September 2022 and the
Courtyard hotel, managed by Marriott will be inaugurated by the end of the
year.

The overall law and order situation in the State continues to be by and large
peaceful. I am happy to inform that in a historic development, the HNLC has
expressed its willingness for unconditional talks, without any pre-conditions
and within the ambit of the Constitution of India. The peace talks have
started, and the State Government is committed to ensure that the talks are
concluded at the earliest. We are also thankful to the Government of India
for their support.

My government has been taking all possible steps to resolve the longstanding
boundary dispute between Meghalaya and Assam. After several
meetings between myself and the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, both the
states agreed to first take up six of the 12 areas of difference i.e., Tarabari,
Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillangkata and Ratacherra. The
regional committees headed by cabinet ministers from both the states have
made field visits, held public hearings and discussions with all stakeholders
for these six areas. Based on the reports of the three regional committees,
a historic MoU was signed between the states of Meghalaya and Assam in
presence of the Hon’ble Union Home Minister. I am also happy to inform
that the discussions to resolve the other six areas of differences will begin
soon.

Friends, as part of the commemoration of 50 years of statehood and “Azadi
Ka Amrit Mahotsav” the project work on the life-size statues of U Tirot Sing,
Kiang Nangbah and Pa Togan N. Sangma is under way. The ‘Kiang Nangbah
Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Centre-cum-Tribal Museum’ at Jowai,
West Jaintia Hills and the Tribal Research Institute at Babadam, West Garo
Hills are under construction. The Tirot Sing Memorial Space, earmarked at
the Indian Cultural Centre in Dhaka, to honour U Tirot Sing’s association with
Bangladesh, is being taken up with the support of the Government of India.
45. My dear citizens, the last four and a half years have been a remarkable and
humble journey for me. I have seen closely the challenges that each one of
you faces and I have tried my best to help make every person’s life better. I
hope that we have been able to do justice to the faith affirmed by you. I
assure you that we will keep serving the State with even greater dedication
in the coming years. To encapsulate the work and the vision of my
government and for our State, I would like to use the phrase – ‘Better today,
Best tomorrow’. It captures the substantial positive impact that we have
been able to create in just a few years. It also shows our pledge and
determination to make tomorrow the best our State has ever seen.

My dear friends, but what is best ? To me, becoming one of the best states
in the country is to create an ecosystem that would enable kids like Raksan
Sangma and Ibaihun Kurbah to win medals at the 2032 Olympics. To create
processes so efficient that an entrepreneur in the remotest of regions can
start a business with the minimal of efforts. Today our villages of
Mawlynlong and Kongthong are globally recognized; I want to create 500
such villages. I want to create opportunities for our designers, musicians,
and artists to do exhibitions and shows in a Paris or New York on a regular
basis. I want to build infrastructure, institutions, and systems to promote
ease of living for the citizens and to access services digitally without the
need to queue up at any government office or bank. I want to transform
Meghalaya into a vibrant, globally recognized region that we all can be
proud of. A Meghalaya that combines the best of our traditional ethos,
contemporary values, and technology. This is what I want to achieve,
together with each one of you, in the next 10 years as we move from golden
jubilee to diamond jubilee of statehood in 2032.

 

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