Dr. Mukul Sangma’s Milestones as Chief Minister of Meghalaya
The Honorable Dr. Mukul Sangma has been singlehandedly responsible for changing the lives of the residents of Meghalaya in recent times. As the 11th chief minister of the state, he has proven himself to be a worthy successor and has been working relentlessly to make Meghalaya a state to be reckoned with. While the North Eastern states of India had always been met with less enthusiasm compared to the other states of the country, Dr. Sangma refused to rely only on the assistance of the Central Government and took it upon himself to change the socio economic scenario of the state, giving shape to one progressive developmental plan after another, to help Meghalaya reach its present stage of success.
Dr. Sangma has been actively associated with politics from the year 1993 and was first elected as an independent candidate. After some pitfalls and ups and down, he became the Chief Minister of Meghalaya on April 20th, 2010.
As a Chief Minister, Dr Mukul Sangma immediately started looking into the problems of the people and started work for the upliftment of those residing in the Khasi and Garo Hills. Rather than taking time and procrastinating, he built a team of individuals as motivated as himself and they looked simultaneously into many aspects that have been plaguing the region. The first and foremost of these measures was to look into the Department of Tourism of Meghalaya, which had been a steady source of revenue for the state for a very long time. However, he felt it was time to upgrade the Ministry and make new changes that would attract more tourists here, who are now used to world class facilities while traveling. With this aim in mind, he had also brought in giants like JW Marriott to establish a five star hotel in the region. He also took a bold step and in spite of meeting with objections from various quarters, he banned the coal mining industry in the state, which he deemed was destructive and would be regressive to the Tourism Department. Dr. Sangma’s risk paid off and now the number of footfalls in the state has almost doubled in the last couple of years.
In a first of its kind, Dr. Sangma launched the Livelihood Intervention and Facilitation of Entrepreneurship (Life) programme in Songsak in the East Garo Hills. It is self help group that was not just meant for the BPL group, as is the custom with most government programs, but was an all- inclusive program where people were asked to participate in self help groups and help achieve sustainable livelihoods. The program received success because of its organization, with the NRLM blocks have been brought under the SHGs formation and with many NGOs responding to Dr. Sangma’s plea and coming forward to help.
Dr. Mukul Sangma also launched a special programme for the widows, the disabled and the single mothers and the state has spent over 63 crores to assist these individuals. Not only have they been helped financially, but self help groups have been set up and they are working consistently for the development of the people. He also extended his help to unmarried young women and they were given financial assistance to help with their marriage. However, Dr. Sangma has probably garnered the maximum praise for Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS), a medical insurance scheme that has helped everyone in the state.
Dr. Sangma was previously a practicing doctor and he is also an avid music lover and a prolific singer himself. He has truly exceeded expectations and has proven himself a worthy leader to look up to.