The Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama at Cherrapunjee has celebrated its Platinum Jubilee through various attractive programmes. Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj, Vice-President of Ramakrishna Mission reached Cherrapunjee from Belur Math on 7th June 2007 to participate in these programmes. Local devotees assembled in the Ashrama premises on 8th June 2007 in the morning when they sang several devotional songs in Khasi. Mr. B. P. Tariang, Headman of Khliehshnong village Durbar initiated the programme for distributing garments among 75 children from each of the local Durbars viz. Pomsohmen, Nongrim, Maraikhapon and Khliehshnong totaling to 300 children in all.
This programme will soon be extended to other areas like Shella, Sohbar and some more villages. Mr. Freeman Singh Syiem, the Raja of Cherrapunjee unveiled two Commemorative Plaques at the sites where the founder Swami Prabhanandaji (Ketaki Maharaj) had opened his first Lower Primary School and the Ashrama in 1931 at Maraikaphon, Cherrapunjee. Eminent local leaders Mr. K. Basaiaomoit , Mr. Swar Singh Diengdoh as well as the former Solicitor General of India Mr. Dipankar Gupta addressed the audience.
The Governor of Meghalaya, Shri B.L. Joshi inaugurated the Platinum Jubilee meeting in the Vivekananda Centenary Hall on Saturday, the 9th June 2007 at 10.00 am before a distinguished gathering presided over by the Vice-President of the Mission Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj. The Secretary of RKM, Cherrapunjee, Swami Sumedhananda in his Address of Welcome enlightened the audience about the untiring zeal and Herculean efforts of the forerunner Swami Prabhanandaji who opened the first school at Shella village in 1924 followed by opening two more schools at Cherrapunjee and Shillong respectively in 1931 and 1933 in addition to a few others at Nongwar, Mowlang, Jowai, etc. totaling to 11 schools during his short life time of 37 years. He narrated the help and support rendered by the kind hearted people of Shella and Cherrapunjee viz. Babus Gouri Charan Roy, Jogidhan Wahdedar, Eljokishore Roy, Sosimus Liwait, Hormu roy and others who extended their helping hands in all possible ways. The Platinum Jubilee Souvenir brought out on the occasion was released by the Governor of Meghalaya. The Souvenir contained Messages from the President, Prime Minister, Home Minister, HRD Minister, NE Minister, Government of India as well as the Governor and the Chief Minister of Meghalaya and a few other dignitaries. Swami Atmasthanandaji released the Platinum Jubilee Edition of the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna in Khasi language. 75 lamps were lit on the stage to mark 75 years of the Mission's existence in Cherrapunjee. The co-chairman of the State Planning Board and former Chief Minister of Meghalaya , Dr. F.A. Khonglam participated as the Guest of Honour and Mr. P.P. Srivastav, Member, North-Eastern Council as well as Chief Secretary of Meghalaya Mr. Ranjan Chatterjee participated as Special Guests. A few old associates of the Mission were felicitated on the occasion.
Dr. Donkupar Roy, the Dy. Chief Minister of Meghalaya participated as the Chief Guest in the Teachers' Meet held on 14th June 2007 when the subject for deliberation was Role of Teachers towards a Better Society. Nearly 300 teachers from 63 units LP. UP, Secondary and Higher Secondary schools run by the Mission participated in the programme. An eminent ex-student and retired teacher of the Mission's Higher Secondary School, Mr. Philon Singh presided over the deliberations. Mementos and various other gifts were presented to all participants. It worth mentioning that all these programmes were conducted amidst heavy rainfall for which Cherrapunjee is famous in the world. It is learnt that a Convention of Devotees, Reunion of Ex-students and some more programmes will be organized in the second phase of the Platinum Jubilee during coming winter.
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