January 22, 2014
WB CM inaugurates renovated Roy Villa, announces tourism plans for Lebong
On the third day of her North Bengal visit, West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee today inaugurated the renovated Roy Villa, the house where Sister Nivedita breathed her last. The place will now house Nivedita Centre for Education and Culture and will be maintained by the Ramakrishna Mission.
Speaking on the occasion, WB CM laid stress on the tourism potential of the region. She also stressed on the importance of education of women.
Excerpts from the Chief Minister`s speech:
It is a woman dominated society in the Hilly areas. They run the work, they their homes also. To promote the trend, let us build a women`s organisation here. We need to provide them higher education, so that they can come up with all the qualities. We must utilise their services for good image and good governance. There is a popular saying that if you educate a woman, you are actually educating a billion people.
We require people who can provide selfless service. Sister Nivedita had breathed her last in this house. When I came here last year, I saw animals loitering here; the place was in complete disarray. I talked to GTA, got the house transferred to Ramakrishna Mission, and within a record six months it was renovated.
Let us hope for the best. If you have a will, you have a way. If you have a heart, you can touch people`s lives. Love begets love. If we love something dearly, it becomes our pride, our passion.
Hamro garab, hamro sampad, hamro bhabishyat, har cheez mein ham aap log ka saath de sakta hai.
I have seen many hilly areas, but I must say that I have not seen places as good as Darjeeling. Darjeeling is something different and beautiful. Come, let us build Darjeeling as an international place of interest. It may be from the educational point of view, or the tourism point of view or the cultural point of view. Let us build a new Darjeeling, a peaceful Darjeeling.
We have to bring the Roy Villa, where Sister Nivedita breathed her last into the heritage map. We have to boost tourism in this area. I have already discussed plans to connect Roy Villa with Darjeeling Mall through a road. Kanchenjunga can be seen clearly from here. The place has immense tourism potential. We need to build cottages so that people can spend a night here too.
We need to promote home tourism. Local boys and girls must get opportunities. They can act as guides and look after the tourists coming from outside. West Bengal and GTA will give full support to Ramakrishna Mission in the upkeep and maintenance of this place.
Darjeeling is now congested; we will look for other tourist spots in the Hills and build the infrastructure for tourism industry in this region. Tourists will definitely come to the Hills. I have heard that during the Christmas season, many tourists could not even find lodging because of the rush. Not just summer, Darjeeling is suited for tourism even during the winter months.
We are soon going to launch bus service to Darjeeling from NJP station and Bagdogra airport. 140 buses are being bought under JNNURM scheme for this purpose. These buses will take tourists across the tourist spots in the Hills.
Darjeeling is very charming. Darjeeling is a darling. I want to see Darjeeling smiling. I want my brothers and sisters to remain happy.
Today I feel happy to have been able to fulfil my responsibility. From taking over Swamiji`s house to restoring autonomy to all the educational institutes under Ramakrishna Mission, renovating Ma Sarada`s home to acquiring Sister Nivedita`s home in Kolkata – we have done a lot in the last two and a half years. I feel it was our moral obligation. We must respect people of all religions, caste and creed. We will give full respect to all our brothers and sisters. Let us all work together for progress.