Thousands relish Christmas feast in Darjeeling

Thousands relish Christmas feast in Darjeeling
Darjeeling: Christmas is all about love and sharing. Going out of the way and keeping with the Yuletide spirit, the Belakoba Forest Range organised a picnic for forest villagers, workers of a closed tea garden, specially-abled and transgenders on Wednesday. Around 3000 persons attended the unique picnic. "Forest villagers face a lot of hardships. They become victims of animal attacks specially elephants. Despite all these odds they help preserve the flora and fauna of our forests. The picnic is a way of expressing our gratitude and love," stated Sanjay Dutta, Range Officer, Belakoba Range in the Jalpaiguri district. Joint Forest Management Committees of Ambari and Belakoba areas pitched in to organise this huge picnic. "There were forest villagers, workers of closed Jaipur tea garden, specially-abled people, transgenders and economically backward people. We distributed more than 500 blankets to people, who are from the economically weak section, to counter the biting cold. Local residents and well-wishers helped us by donating blankets and sarees," Dutta said. The picnic was held at Shikarpur beat. Songs and dance occupied centre stage. The Christmas spread consisted of kichudi, egg pakora, paneer, cauliflower curry, chatni, payesh and roshogolla. " We still face a lot of social stigma. We were touched when we received the invitation for the picnic," said Bipasha, a transgender.

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Christmas is all about love and sharing. Going out of the way and keeping with the Yuletide spirit, the Belakoba Forest Range organised a picnic for forest villagers, workers of a closed tea garden, specially-abled and transgenders

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