The Assam government has started construction of 119 model high schools in tea garden areas.

Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundation stone of construction work of the 119 model high schools at tea gardens of the state at a programme held at Mekipur Tea Garden playground in Nazira of Sivasagar district on Sunday.

The Assam chief minister also ceremonially launched the construction the model high schools at Mekipur and Bamunpukhuri tea gardens at Nazira as part of the initiative.

“Tea community is an integral part of greater Assamese society and the community has contributed immensely to Assam’s socio-cultural development,” Sonowal said while addressing the programme.

“The community, which has embraced Assam and Assamese as their own and assimilated into Assamese society, must be enabled to reap benefits of equal development,” he added.

An amount of Rs. 1.20 crore would be spent in the construction of each of the model high school, which would be constructed by PWD and a total amount of Rs. 142.50 crore has been allotted from SOPD fund of 2020-21 for the entire project.

The schools will have all amenities like modern classrooms, teachers’ restrooms, entrance gates, separate toilets for teachers and students and these schools are expected to greatly improve academic scenario in tea garden areas of the state.

Sonowal said the initiative of laying the foundation stone for constructing 119 model high schools in tea gardens of the state has become possible as part of the state government’s efforts to equally develop all communities living in Assam.

He said the model schools will help in the educational development of the tea community, which has been living in Assam for nearly 200 years.

Sonowal also paid tributes to martyrs of tea community in the country’s freedom struggle like Mangri Orang, Dayal Das Panika and Biju Baishnab.

He said with the step of setting up the model high schools in tea gardens will fulfil the dreams of many great personalities of the community who sought true development of the tea community.

The chief minister also remembered the contributions made by various tea garden personalities in the development of the community.

Saying that the state government would not confine the development initiatives of the tea community only to setting up of model high school, Sonowal spoke about the possibility of setting up colleges as well in the tea gardens in the future.

He urged the parents in the tea garden areas to motivate their children to take advantage of various schemes launched by the state government for education of the students in the community.

Sonowal highlighted schemes like providing 80 MMUs in tea gardens, construction of roads in more than 800 tea gardens, Chah Bagicha Dhan Puraskar Mela and one-time financial assistance of Rs 25,000 to tea community youths for self-employment.

He also highlighted schemes like scholarships to meritorious students of the community, wage compensation to pregnant women of the community, smartphones to tea garden sardars and free rice in the tea gardens.

Minister of state for PWD Jogen Mohan, MP Tapan Kumar Gogoi, youth leader of the tea community Prahlad Gowala, general secretary of ATTSA Pawan Bedia also spoke in the programme.

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