Sikkim Chief Minister P S Tamang Monday hoisted the national flag at Bhaichung Stadium in Namchi on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the country's Independence and announced schemes for the welfare of women in the mountain state.
The state-level programme was held outside capital Gangtok for the first time since Sikkim merged with the Indian Union in 1975 as Paljor Stadium, where it is held, is being renovated.
Speaking after hoisting the Tricolour, Tamang announced the launch of 'Aama Yojana' and 'Vatsalya Yojana' and said the Sikkim government is working continuously for the welfare of women.
"Under Aama Yojana, all unemployed mothers in the state will recieve Rs 20,000 annually which will be deposited in their bank accounts. Under the Vatsalya Yojana, an aid of Rs three lakh will be provided to childless women for in vitro fertilization treatment," he said.
Expressing concern over the declining fertility in Sikkim, Tamang said that Vatsalya Yojana will cover women in government jobs through the health department and others through Chief Minister's Medical Assistance.
The financial assistance of Rs three lakh for IVF treatment will be given in two phases - Rs one lakh in the first and Rs two lakh in the second and last phase.
The chief minister also announced year-long maternity leave for women employees of the state beginning today in place of the six month leave which was the practice so far.
He launched the mobile village clinic programme to provide accessible medical facilities to people in remote areas in all the six districts.
The mobile clinics will be manned by trained medical staff and will provide quality health care facilities to villagers at their doorsteps. The clinics will be equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and villagers will no longer require to travel long distances for treatment or to get their medical test reports.
"Our government is dedicated to providing excellent health care facilities for the people. Health related initiatives and schemes have to be top notch if our society is to progress," Tamang said.