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Chief Bimal Gurung writes Nepali letter to CM Mamata

Bimal Gurung writes Nepali letter to CM Mamata
As part of his efforts to popularise the use of the Nepali language in official work, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chief executive Bimal Gurung has written a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nepali, although a communication in English has also been sent on the same context.
The letter exhorts her to implement the Kanyashree Scheme for school girls in the hills throughout the GTA. “Nepali is recognized in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and is among the official languages of the country. We must not shy away from using it as it bulwarks our identity,” said Gurung today in Darjeeling after an official meeting of the GTA.
During a programme to mark Bhasa Diwas on August 20, the GTA chief executive had officially announced the use of Nepali (for making official documents) in the new council and this is being followed faithfully. He had also announced of setting-up a Nepali Academy in the hills to preserve and promote local culture and tradition.
Although Gurung did not elaborate much on the written communication in Nepali, sources said the correspondence mentions implementing the Kanyashree Scheme throughout the hills.
“We do not have problems with the scheme as it is beneficial to people, especially school-going girls. However, as the GTA is the governing body of the hills, the scheme should be implemented by it,” one of the sources said.
During today’s meeting in Darjeeling with GTA officials and various cultural organisations to finalise a month-long cultural event in October, Gurung also stressed on the need for hill residents to showcase their root and identity by wearing traditional attire.
“I had asked the people to don their traditional dresses a few years ago, which did not go down well. But people want to wear them now. Hence, I appeal to one and all to showcase their identity through their traditional dresses. I myself wear the Nepali dress in official events not only here but also in Kolkata and Delhi, as I represent the Gorkha community,” he said.
During the second round of statehood agitation in 2009, Gurung, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president, had issued a diktat mandating men to wear the daura suruwal and women the chowbandi cholo. The diktat was an effort to show the hill people were different from the rest of Bengal. However, mass resentment forced Gurung to call off this idea.
“It will look proper if people wear their traditional dresses during the Puja festivities in October as a huge number of tourists will be flocking to the hills,” he said, adding he would try to invite ministers for the month-long event.
It was also decided that the October cultural event would be called the Cultural and Tourism Festival (CTF) instead of Darjeeling Tea and Tourism Festival (DTTF) as was the case earlier. The event will kick-start from October 8.
“We decided to change the name of the event to make it relevant with our aim. The event will highlight our rich culture and tradition and instill the difference in our identity to tourists,” said GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang, who is also a GTA executive member.
The event will be organised from October 8 to November 7 in Darjeeling, Kalimpong will host it from October 9 to 26, Kurseong sub-division will celebrate it from October 10 to 19, while Mirik will host it from October 11 to 20.

Source: EOI

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