Shillong August 15 : Along with the rest of the country, Meghalaya, today celebrated the 77th Independence Day across the state. In the state capital Shillong, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma hoisted the National Flag and took the Rashtriya Salute of 18 Parade Contingents comprising of the BSF, CRPF, MLP, Tripura State Rifles, Unitarian Hr. Secondary School Puriang, Holy Cross Secondary School, Nongmensong, Nongrah Secondary School, Nongrah, NCC  boys and girls, Meghalaya Bharat Scouts and Guides, Laban Presbyterian Hr. Secondary School, Little Flower Secondary School, Seven Set Hr. Secondary School, BSF Sr. Secondary School, Auxilium Girls Hr. Secondary School, Brookside Adventist Hr. Secondary School, Horse contingent of Assam Rifles Higher Secondary School and brass band of Border Wing Home Guards.

The Chief Minister also handed over the Arts and Craft Villages Award for the overall collective mastery of their arts and crafts practices and their continued contribution towards the protection, preservation and promotion of the culture heritage and legacy of the State, to Wahkhen village in East Khasi Hills District for its traditional instruments and musicians and their inherent skills with bamboo crafts, Larnai village in West Jaintia Hills District for its traditional Black Clay Pottery, Pahambir village in Ri Bhoi District for its folklore, Tangmang village, East Khasi Hills for its refined bamboo mat, Mairang village, Eastern West Khasi Hills District for being an art hub known to be full of artistic minds abounding in the art of sculptures, paintings, woodcrafts, wood-cut and print making and  Amindagre village in West Garo Hills, the only village that resembles a living wood crafts museum and also known for its wood and stone crafts.

The Chief Minister also presented the State Literary Award for the year 2010 to (L) Rev. Dr. Iarlington Kharkongor for his book “Ka Nongrim ban tei bad tehsong ia ka iing ka sem ka Ri bad Jaitbynriew” for Khasi Literature and (L) B S Bangshall for his book “Sonajing” for Garo Literature. The State Literary award for the year 2011 has been conferred to (L) Dr. J.  S. Shangpliang for his book “Ka Khet” for Khasi Literature and Lwellyn R Marak for his book “Pagitchamrangni Agana” for Garo Literature.

On the occasion, prizes were distributed to the winners of March Past who took part in the Independence Day celebration wherein the 1st Prize was bagged by Holy Cross Secondary School, Nongmensong. Brookside Adventist Hr. Secondary School emerged 1st  Runners up and Nongrah Presbyterian Secondary School bagged the 2nd Runners up trophy.

R. M. Kurbah, Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills District handed the Kayakalp Awards 2022-23 for East Khasi Hills District to Ganesh Das Govt. MCH Hospital, Shillong for Best District Hospital and Eco-friendly District Hospital, Civil Hospital, Shillong for Commendation Award for District Hospital, Sohra CHC for Best CHC and Eco-friendly Award, Mawphlang CHC and Sohiong CHC for Commendation Award for CHC, Thynroit HWC-SC and Thangsning HWC-SC for being the winner and runner-up award for HWC-SC respectively, Kharang HWC-SC for Commendation Award for HWC-SC and Umsohsun UPHC for Commendation Award for UPHC. The Megha Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) & Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) has identified health facilities as top performers in East Khasi Hills District. The health facilities included Diengiei PHC under PHC category, Bansara Eye Center under the Eye Care Hospital category and Dr. H. Gordon Roberts Hospital under Private Hospital category.

The East Khasi Hills District Social Welfare Office conferred the DSWO Award to Saduka Rangad, Probation Officer, Special Home, Boys, Mawkasiang, New Shillong in appreciation of her outstanding dedication and service above and beyond the call of duty towards Child Protection Services.

Police Medal for Meritorious Service Awardees was also announced whereby the recipients included Lumlang John Malngiang, Havildar, East Jaintia Hills DEF and Ram Phawa, Havildar, Police Taining School, Umran. The recipient of Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation for the year 2023 is Salmay R Marak, Sub Inspector, West Garo Hills DEF.

Fire Service Medal for Meritorious Service Awardees was also announced whereby the recipients are Dawrupaia Passah, Leading Fireman and Iengborsing Majaw, Fireman.

President’s Home Guards & Civil Defence Medal for Distinguished Service was awardedto Merinpole Koksi Sangma, Joint Director of Civil Defence. Home Guards & Civil Defence Medals for Meritorious Service to Bakstar Mynsong, Sub Inspector (HG) and Ram Charles Lamare, Havildar (HG) were also announced on the occasion.

The other highlights of the day include cultural programmes presented by students of St. Mary’s Hr. Secondary School, Shillong Public School, Sein Raij Secondary School, Holy Cross Secondary School and Government Girl Higher Secondary School.