On a fine morning of 18th June 2015, Dr Mechung Bhutia, presently the Member of Sikkim Legislative Assembly from Martam Rumtek Constituency, responds to our request for an interview with a polite “could you send me the questions”?
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: A brief introduction about urself sir.
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): From a small village called Martam. Studied at St. Joseph’s school,Martam and St. Xavier’s school,Pakyong.
MBBS from Burdwan medical college(2003). Dip. in diabetics from Apollo Hyderabad (2006).
Worked as regional immunization officer for shanta biotech ltd.
Worked at health deptt Sikkim.
Worked as medical officer in-charge in Maldives. Joined politics and now working as representative from 24-Martam Rumtek constituency.
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: Something about your constituency, Martam Rumtek?
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): It’s a place of mix-ethinicity. Majority of people here are Sikkimese Nepali, Sikkimese Bhutia and Sikkimese Lepcha. Population is approximately 32000 and around 15000 voters are here. It’s also the place of religious importance.world famous n largest monastry of Kagyu lineage of Buddhism is located at Rumtek. Through the various programmes I have made a project to include the Martam Rumtek area into tourist mega circuit..which Is accepted n passed by the govt
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: A young and well educated doctor to join politics. Why did it happen?
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): I am the victim of poor governing system. So I joined politics to effect the change. Just my story. Sat for spsc ..passed in merit….but failed to secure a job…filed a case in high court..won the case..verdict read as follows ..”he is in merit….he is tribal …n sikkim is in acute shortage of medical doctors…court directed the govt to appoint me. But I never got it. Then while I was abroad…I was contemplating myself ..if I,who is technically qualified…who could raise voice and who is but financially sound..had to face such injustice then what about the children who are from economically weak background….children who cannot stand and speak for their own right. My sole purpose of joining politics is to stand for this section of our educated suppressed youth who cannot afford to raise voice against the system.To help people understand the true meaning and essence of democracy…to awaken the spirit of democracy in every individual and help them participate in democratic way of functioning.
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: On the backdrop of your work during natural disasters in Nepal and Uttarakhand, What do u think is required to be done to minimise the damage of such disasters..specially given the fact that our state also falls under disaster prone area.
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): Govt should formulate the strong policy of construction which is ideal for our topography.proper drainage facility. Participation from all the stakeholders should be their.Information education and communication(IEC) should be percolated to the last man.panchyats n all institution should take crash course in dealing with natural calamities and same should be taught to public. State level district level sub-division level..emergency disaster management team with equipment should be ready 24/7. Deforestation and soil erosion activities and mechanism should be checked.
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: Since you have studied outside sikkim. Did you face discrimination on racial grounds. What do you want to say to the youngsters who face this problem?
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): Yes….ethical discrimination is the part and parcel that we have to undergo while studying outside Sikkim.it feels like a “mistaken identity”.I guess it won’t be bad idea to incorporate the NE geo-history and culture activities in our school syllabus at primary level..as “know your states”. I feel it will go long way in fostering the true sense of brotherhood and national integration.
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: What do you think about the youth of Sikkim. What are your expectations from them and what are you doing for their development?
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): We are the youth with myriad of potentials.Our resource as “knowledge resource,technical resource” are not trapped properly. We are qualified with high degree but due to lack of initiative from the govt.our potent resource are not industry-ready or work-able. Here lies the great irony…inspite of degree holder most of us are jobless. Students are the assets of our state…we should build or technically tailor them to suit the demand of Industrial Age.Career counseling is must above class 8. Here I want to share something more….I feel it’s very important to not only to have career counseling but other counseling like “academic counseling..psycho-social counseling n peer counseling are the need of the hour….particularly for the students who have score low n failed in board exams. It’s this section who are more prone to deviate to anti-social activities like drugs,depression,suicide and robbery and all. Because this board exam are the transition phase of term-adult life.here the counseling is must.
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: You have been roping the companies in your area to contribute through CSR initiatives for the development. What’s their response and what all has happened till now?
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): Yes to engage our educated unemployed youth….I am reaching out to companies. As per MOU….companies have accepted to contribute 2% of their profit as CSR…but no company has delivered so far. It’s because of lack of follow up on the part of public and govt. But we have taken initiative to engage all the companies in my constituency to contribute 2% of the profit margin for the development of the local area. Till date we have give employment to 185 youths of our constituency. At least 30 youths are engaged in contract work in company like Labour supply…grocery supply….house keeping…laundry. Some are engaged in RCC civil works.Through my initiative we are coming up with mega tourist circuit …..again this will Benefit our people. All the hotels n resort in my constituency will be promoted by our youths.
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: Tell us about Sikkim’s organic mission and your views on that.
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): It is very Nobel venture…..I too advocate and practice organic way of life. In the last year assembly I raised concern abut organic practice in Sikkim.even after pumping huge amount of money n consuming 10 yrs of time….sikkim organic mission is still in infantile stage. I am not sure if som is for holistic approach or for commercial purpose. Before embarking on any mission …one has to be clear,where one wants to reach. As far as Sikkim Organic Mission is concern i don’t see any concrete destination. Sikkim will not become just because ministers and governor clicked photos with two basketful of green vegetables.
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: Where do you see Sikkim 10 years from now?
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): It’s heartening to see young people coming to politics. Some say politics is dirty. But I feel the mother of all solution is good politics good governance and good policy and this can be delivered only by good politics. Young coming to politics are encouraging sign for young minds are less polute…more dedicated more committed. I meet lots of young people and 99% of their mind n attitude reads same. 10 years down the line dynamics of politics will change for good. It will be more transparent and more development oriented. Caste and religion and communal politics will become obsolete.
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: What are the lacunaes in the current administration?Are you getting full support from the system to implement your goals for your people?
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): Our administrative deliverance is still party centric. To achieve the same result we as an opposition are required to press 10 times harder than our ruling friends. Here again I would like to repeat….democratic awakening and political maturity are yet to set-in. Majority has myopic vision on this topic…here is what and where we need CHANGE…change in mindset n demoractic participation.
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: We in wandering soul of Sikkim have a mission of bringing Sikkim closer to India and the world. What are your suggestions to us in this regard?
Dr. Mechung (MLA Rumtek): It’s one of the best initiative…considering the fact of the frequent alienation and racial abuse we as North Easterner are subjected.. It’s the best platform to create the sense of brotherhood n national integration. If anything from my side please feel free to share!
Wandering Soul of Sikkim: Thank you doctor sahab for your valuable time!
well said doc sahib…