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Sunday, January 15, 2012

12 hr strike....Gorkhas run in Mumbai for identity....NEW LIGHT ACADEMY NAMCHI PRINCIPAL LOPSANG LAMA FELICITATED....ब्रदीनारायण प्रधानको सालिग अनावरण सम्पन्न...Ghisingh to lead revival campaign...World soccer veterans set up Sikkim date...Cold wave grips state, Kolkata records coldest day of season

KalimNews: BOBBC has called Bengal Bundh on 16 January. Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Samity an outfit based in Siliguri opposing Gorkhaland movement  has called a 12 hrs bundh in protest against the formation of GTA. Inter city mini Bus owners has decided not to ply any buses in the city, FOCIN on the other hand has not given any directives to its members regarding the strike.
BOBBC and Rashtriya Shivsena has demanded bifurcation of Darjeeling into two districts. It has also demanded the state government to compensate the loss of the plains incurred due to the strikes in the hills.  

R Moktan Coordinator of Gorkhaland Task Force has demanded resignation of MP Jaswant Singh as he has failed to raise his voice and create the state of Gorkhaland. Bishnu Chhetri Secretary of Krishak Kalyan Sangathan has termed DGHC as a centre of corruption. He further blamed the DGHC of not sanctioning that grants passed by the departments meant for the agricultural developments.  

GJM is infavour of holding 2 tier panchayat election before the formation of GTA, alleged Taramani Rai vice president of CPRM. Rai termed the formation of GTA as unconstitutional and clarified that the delay by the centre indicates this. The two agreements of Sixth schedule and GTA has created legal complications and it will take time to settle the matter thats why GJM is now demanding holding of panchayat election though earlier Bimal Gurung had stated that only after the formation of GTA poachayat election will be held.
Gorkhas run in Mumbai for identity 
KalimNews, Mumbai, 15 January: For the first time 19 runners from Darjeeling and other areas participated in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2012, the richest marathon of Asia on 15th January 2012 as a part of the project a run project "Run with Roshni" for Gorkha identity. The campaign is the brainchild of Roshni Rai, a regular and amateur marathon runner of Pedong, Kalimpong of Darjeeling district now based in Mumbai working as a legal executive in Proctor and Gamble. She and her group ran the marathon wearing T-shirts with the slogan ‘WE ARE GORKHAS AND PROUD TO BE INDIANS. JAI GORKHA, JAI HIND’. All 16 were qualified and awarded medals.
Every year, more than 38,000 people participates in the 42.195 km Mumbai Marathon organised by Concern India Foundation. Last year through the event, charities raised over Rs. 12.16crore for 131 NGOs to support.
Of the 22 registered runners only 19 reported for the run of which 16 ran half marathon (21km) and 3 dream run (6km). In the run Vivek Bahl a Punjabi (Roshni's landmark coach ) from Delhi and John Joydeep Sinha, a Bengali physician based at Salugara in Siliguri participated in the halfl marathon to support the cause of Roshni and all the Gorkhas with the 14 Gorkhas of Darjeeling hills.
By running the Mumbai marathon (42km) in less than 5 hr Roshni is now qualified to run for Comrades Marathon in South Africa a dream of her came true. The Comrades Marathon is an 89-km ultra marathon which is also known as the Ultimate Human Race. 16 runners from Darjeeling completed 21km and the best time among 16 was 1hr 17mins (official timing awaited). All the runners from Darjeeling were running the certified marathon for the first time as their timing certificate from local marathons of Darjeeling were not accepted and they had to stand behind 10 thousand runners at the start.
Roshni wanted to highlight the identity crisis Gorkhas are facing in the country, supported by her non-Gorkha friends.Ms Rai has run all the national marathons including an international at Prague.
Of the 19 runners, 14 of them were from the Darjeeling hills.
Runners like Premika Rai, a businesswoman from Kalimpong, Saurav Banerjee, a volunteer teacher from Pedong were proud to join in the run. According to them it gave them an opportunity to lend their voice in support of the grievance of the Gorkhas and reach out to the world stating that Gorkhas are very much Indian alike others and not Nepalese. Namper Lepcha from Darjeeling.
Grace Rai, an employee in the sports department of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, had come fourth in the Maharashtra marathon in 1999 was one of the participant.
The other runners were Mala Sherpa, Menuka Rai, Ramesh, Sanjay, Prabal of Kalimpong; Amrit and Saourav Banerjee from Pedong; Namper Lepcha from Darjeeling; Nirparaj Ranpaheli, Ashim Tamang from Kurseong; Victor Rai from Kolkata and Avinash Chettri from Mumbai.The Dream runners (6km event) participants from Mumbai were Ritesh Rai, Poonam Lama, C B Chettri, Yogeshmani Pradhan and Dhruva Pradhan Secretary of BGES , Mumbai
They were hosted at Mumbai by Bharatiya Gorkha Ekta Sangh with financial and other aid.
The top Indian male and female finishers gain $7500 each. For the first time, there was prize-money for the winners in the Open marathon, while $750 and $500 was at stake for the second and third placed finishers. The total prize money has been amplified to $340,000 this year.
The Mumbai Marathon, one of the few full marathons from around the world to enjoy IAAF Gold Label Status, received another feather in its hat with the Athletics Federation of India granting it "National Status".
About 38,775 people had registered for the marathon. Apart from conducting full and half marathons, Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon also conducted Wheelchair Events, Dream Run and Senior Citizens’ Run. There were separate timings for full and half marathon runners.
The full marathon had received 2775 entries, while the half a whopping 13,946. The Senior Citizens' Run had 1251 participants, while the Wheelchair Event 370, with 20,500 people registering for the Dream Run. According to Hindustan Times, this marathon is going to raise 15 crores, which will be provided to 214 NGOs.
The funds raised will help to support over 200 grass root programmes working in the core areas of education, health & community development countless social causes, while having a blast in the most exciting community – charity event of the year.
Mumbai: The prestigious Stan Chart Mumbai marathon concluded with Laban Moiben of Kenya winning the men's title and Netsanet Abeyo of Ethiopia clinching the women's crown.
India's Ram Singh Yadav attained the 'B' qualifying standard for the London Olympics at the Marathon.

The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon kicked off earlier today with around 38,000 people participating.
The event, which was held in phases, saw the amateurs take off at the starting blocks ahead of the serious competitors.
Many of the participants were running to raise funds for various causes.
Despite the absence of defending champions Girma Assefa and Koren Yal, both Ethiopians, the IAAF Gold Label status event, which is offering an enhanced prize money of US $3,40,000, attracted several top athletes like ex-world champion Luke Kibet (Kenya), Ethiopia's Siraj Gena and Kenya's Laban Moiben.
The also saw its glamour quotient with Bollywood actor John Abraham and former tennis player Vijay Amritraj as the two ambassadors for the Mumbai Marathon, the organisers said.
There were separate start for the 21.097 km half marathon, the event starting at Bandra and finishing at CST, a change necessitated by the need to avoid convergence of the runners in the two categories and give the full marathon participants a clear route from start to finish.
The half marathon began at 0615 IST from Bandra Reclamation and finished at CST, while the full marathon began at 0725 IST from CST and finished at CST.
The 2.5 km Wheelchair event began at 0745 IST from CST and finished near Gate No. 3 of Azad Maidan, opposite Metro Cinema, similarly the 4.3 km Senior Citizens Run, began at CST at 0800 IST before finishing near Gate No. 3 of Azad Maidan.
The 6 km Dream Run began at 0900 from CST and finished near Gate No.3 of Azad Maidan. The amateur marathon runners were allowed an early start of 0540 IST from CST to help them get more of running time in cooler climes.
Mumbai Marathon: Gorkhas run for an Indian identity
DNA. Mumbai, January 16: When Roshni Rai, a 26-year-old legal executive for Colgate, woke up on Sunday morning, her legs were shaking.
“I should have spent all of Saturday just eating and sleeping. But, I spent four hours running around to sort out all the formalities for the 23 runners from Darjeeling I have got here to run with me,” said Rai, tears in her eyes after running 42 km.
Her tears are not from exhaustion — she has run an ultramarathon of 75km in the past — but because she has qualified having finished the marathon in less than five hours for the 90-km Comrades ultramarathon in South Africa.
“Comrades was set up by a war veteran in the memory of the South Africans who died in World War II. I want to dedicate my run to all the brave Gorkha soldiers who’ve died fighting for India,” said Rai, who migrated to Mumbai from Predong, a small town in Darjeeling.
Her Gorkha identity is a big reason why Rai runs.
“Whenever people hear that our mother tongue is Nepalese, they think we are from Nepal. They look at our eyes and think we are Chinese. In every marathon I have run in India, including today, I have had to deal with people calling me Chinki. I run because I want to tell everyone that we are Indians.”
Rai has launched a project called ‘Run with Roshni’. She believes that if given the proper training and opportunity, the Gorkhas can rival the Kenyans and Ethiopians in long-distance running.
“We live in the hills, sometimes we have to run in that high altitude for four to five km just to get to school.”
The contingent from Darjeeling is definitely talented. Probal Chettri, 21, has just clocked a time of 1 hour 17 minutes for the half marathon. This, after having had to overtake 9,000 participants because he was put in the beginners’ division. Chettri is no beginner though. He has been running marathons in Darjeeling since he was in high school, but those certificates are not valid in Mumbai.
Avinash Chettri, 18, also ran the half-marathon with hardly any time to practise. Avinash, who is employed at a city hotel, had worked the entire night, but completed the run in just over two hours.
Hugging Avinash for his efforts, a proud Rai said: “There’s great potential in the Gorkha people. I just want to give them a platform and show off their talents to the country.”
A run for her identity
Gretchen Ferrao, Mid Day, 15 January, Mumbai: Avid marathoner Roshni Rai's Run With Roshni project endeavours to help masses understand the Gorkha community better, as well as kickstart a health and fitness movement among the Darjeeling youth
Roshni Rai introduces herself as a Gorkha girl. 

Originally from Pedong, Darjeeling, the 30 year-old legal executive and avid marathoner has been a Mumbai resident for eight years. She loves the city, but cannot help feel a little hurt by people's reactions to her nationality. "I have often faced an identity crisis because of my features. People think I'm Japanese or Chinese. When I say my mother tongue is Nepali, they assume I'm from Nepal. But the fact is I am Indian and very proud of it," she emphasises.
So when Rai had to initiate a project that was "close to her heart and would benefit the community" ” as part of a training and development programme with self-help organisation Landmark Education ” she coupled her love for running with her desire to spread awareness about the Gorkha community and launched the 'Run With Roshni' project in August 2011. The aim was to sponsor a group of 20 runners belonging to Darjeeling's Gorkha community at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) 2012. A month and a half later, she had all the financial support needed to sponsor 23 participants under a charity-raising model. "Fellow marathoners from across India contributed to the cause; I have raised Rs1,10,000, which is being donated to three NGOs: NTP Plus, The Foundation and VIDYA ” India," she smiles.
Aged between 18 and 60 years, the participants ran the half marathon (five opted for the Dream Run) sporting tees with the slogan, 'We are Gorkhas. We are proud to be Indian'. Roshni hopes their presence has helped raise awareness about the community and reiterates, "Nepali is one of the languages of India, listed in the Constitution." The plan is to take 'Run with Roshni' to the Delhi Half Marathon next. In the process, she hopes to infuse the culture of running in Darjeeling.
Mukesh Sharma, KalimNews, January 15: Winner of many national and international award Lobsang Lama an educationist and Principal of New Light Academy of Namchi Sikkim was awarded with the "Bharat Gaurav Award " by Indian International friendship society at New Delhi. 

On the occasion of Global friendship day Lama was felicitated at le meridian hotel New Delhi. Indians working all over the globe to enrich the society with their work in different sphere are awarded with this award. In the field of literature and social activities Lama has been awarded with this award by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajiv Shukla in presence of Ex-Governor of Assam and Tamilnadu Dr.Bhism Narayan. The programme was presided by the ex CBI director Jogindar Singh.
After returning from Delhi today Lama speaking to the press told that this award holds an important place in his life, he told that it represents recognition of the service of all the Indian Gorkhas to their country who are fighting for their identity.
ब्रदीनारायण प्रधानको सालिग अनावरण

डी के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 15 जनवरी। मार्क्सवादी साहित्य ठूलो ज्ञानको भण्डार हो। यसभित्र अनेकौं ज्ञानका कुराहरू छन्‌। मैले मार्क्सवादी साहित्यका खोराकहरू बद्रीनारायण प्रधानबाटै पाउन सकें। उनी युगपुरूष हुन्‌। हाम्रो समाजमा विगतका दिनहरूमा मात्र युग पुरुषहरू जन्मेनन्, तर वर्तमानमा पनि युगपुरूषहरू जन्मनको निम्ति हाम्रो समाज मलिलो ठाउँ हो। यसैको उदाहरण हुन्‌ बद्रीनारायण प्रधान-उक्त कुरा बाग्राकोट उच्चतर माध्यमिक विद्यालयमा स्व. ब्रदीनारायण प्रधानको सालिग अनावरण कार्यक्रममा मुख्य अतिथि डा. इन्द्रबहादुर राईले भनेका हुन्‌।
नेपाली साहित्यका महान लेखक इन्द्रबहादुर राईले आज स्व. प्रधानको 85 औं जन्मजयन्तीको अवसरमा तिनको सालिगको अनावरण गरे। यस अवसरमा विशिष्ट अतिथिका रूपमा साहित्यकार एवं राजनीतिज्ञ आरबी राई उपस्थित रहेका थिए। कार्यक्रमलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै मुख्य अतिथि राईले विगतका साहित्यकारहरू विभिन्न राजनैतिक पार्टीहरूसँग जोडिएता पनि त्यस कार्यले महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निर्वाह गरेको बताए। यद्यपि आफू भने राजनीतिमा चासो हुँदाहुँदै पनि कुनै पनि राजनैतिक पार्टीसित जोडिन नपुगेको जनाए। गोर्खालीगमा जातिवादको भावना हुँदाहुँदै आफू गोर्खालीगको सदस्यता नलिएको, मार्क्सवादमा रूचि हुँदाहुँदै मार्क्सवादी नबनेको अनि गान्धीको सिद्धान्तमा प्रेरित हुँदाहुँदै कंग्रेस पनि नबनेको बताउँदै यी सबै कुरामा सम्मिलित नबन्नु आफूले धर्मका पुस्तकहरू अध्ययन गर्नेगरेको मूल कारण रहेको डा. राईले जनाए।
सन्‌ 1960 को दशकमा डुवर्समा पहिलो कविगोष्ठिमा आफूले प्रथमपल्ट भाग लिएको सम्झना गर्दै स्व. प्रधानको सालिग अनावरणमा आफू सहभागी बन्नपाउँदा अत्यन्तै हर्षित रहेको बताए। 10 वर्षअघि मात्र स्व. प्रधानसँग तिनका धर्मपत्नीले पकाएको खाना खाएको आलो सम्झना गर्दै आज त्यसै कुराको धेरै सम्झना भइरहेको जनाए। भविष्यमा डुवर्स पुनः आउनु सक्छु कि सक्तिन भन्दै आफूलाई पनि 85 वर्षको वृद्ध अवस्थाले सताउन थालेको तिनले थपे। स्व. बद्रीनारायण प्रधान नेपाली साहित्यका मात्र नभएर नेपाली समाजकै निम्ति महान व्यक्ति रहेको बताउँदै डुवर्समा नेपाली भाषी शिक्षाको क्षेत्रमा महत्वपूर्ण योगदान रहेको तिनले जनाए। राजनीतिमा लागेपछि तिनले साहित्य क्षेत्रमा कलम चलाउन निरन्तरता दिन नसकेता पनि समाजबिना साहित्य बॉंच्न नसक्ने कुरालाई ध्यानमा राखेर स्व. प्रधानले समाजमा जागरूकता ल्याउन महत्वपूर्ण योगदान दिएको तिनले बताए। तिनले समाजमा आफूमाथि अपगाल आउने कुनै कार्य नगरेको बताउँदै राजनीतिमा अनेकौं गालीहरू गर्ने भएतापनि तिनीमाति कसैले औंली उठाउन नसकेको जनाए।

यता विशिष्ट अतिथि आरबी राईले डुवर्सको शैक्षिक विकासमा स्व. प्रधानको महत्वपूर्ण योगदान रहेको बताए। हाम्रो समाजले गुणी मानिसहरूको गुणलाई कदर गर्न सिक्नपर्ने बताउँदै तिनी नेपाली समाजका गुणी व्यक्ति रहेको बताए। हाम्रो समाजमा कुनै विपरित राजनीति गर्ने मानिसहरूको गुणलाई स्वीकार नगर्ने थोत्रे मानसिकता रहेको बताउँदै यस्ता मानसिकता मानिसहरूले त्यागेर आफ्ना दुश्मनकै राम्रा गुणहरू स्वीकार गर्न सिक्नपर्ने आरबी राईले थप बताए। विगत दिनमा स्व. प्रधानसँग अत्यन्तै प्रगाड सम्बन्ध रहेको बताउँदै स्व. प्रधानबाट धेरै राम्रा कुराहरू आफूले सिक्ने मौका पाएको पनि तिनले जनाए। कार्यक्रममा अर्का विशिष्ट अतिथिका रूपमा डा. मोहन पी. दाहालले स्व. प्रधानलाई टिस्टा गढतिरको गोर्की उपनाम दिए। तिनले मेक्सिम गोर्कीको आमा उपन्यास नेपालीमा अनुवाद गरेर नेपाली समाजलाई महत्वपूर्ण कार्य गरिदिएको बताए। यस अवसरमा प्रथम बद्रीनारायण प्रधान स्मृति पुरस्कार राजनारायण प्रधानलाई प्रदान गरियो। कार्यक्रमका मुख्य अतिथि डा. इन्द्रबहादुर राईको बाहुलीबाट दोसल्ला ओडाएर स्मृति चिन्ह अनि नगद राशी प्रदान गरियो भने विशिष्ट अतिथि आरबी राईको बाहुलीबाट ढाका टोपी लगाएर तिनलाई प्रथम स्व. बद्रीनारायण प्रधान स्मृति पुरस्कारले विभूषित गरियो। यसै अवसरमा स्व. प्रधानको डायरी लेखन पुस्तक पनि विमोचन गरियो। कार्यक्रममा स्व. प्रधानको सालीग निर्माण गर्ने नवोदित मूर्तीकार अमिर सुन्दासलाई पनि सम्मान जनाइयो।
कार्यक्रममा असित राई, नरबहादुर दाहाल, डा. जस योञ्जन प्यासी, एमबी राई, राजनारायण प्रधान आदिले सम्बोधन गर्दै स्व. प्रधानले नेपाली साहित्यमा पुर्‍याएको योगदानबारे प्रशंशा गरे। यसै अवसरमा कविगोष्टि पनि सम्पन्न भएको थियो।

Ghisingh to lead revival campaign
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Jan. 15: The GNLF, in political hibernation since the Assembly elections, is planning a comeback in the hills with a campaign for Sixth Schedule status for the hills to be kicked off by party chief Subash Ghisingh next month.
The campaign will start with Mirik, where the last public meeting of the GNLF was held ahead of the Assembly polls. “Our party has decided to start a campaign for Sixth Schedule status for the hills. We will hold public meetings across the region, starting with one at Mirik in February. Our party president, Subash Ghisingh, will be there,” said Arjun Rai, the convener of the GNLF’s Mirik area.
Rai said the date of the meeting would be announced by Ghisingh, who stays in Jalpaiguri since he was hounded out of the hills in 2008 by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
Indications of the GNLF’s revival efforts were evident when Rai held a meeting with 41 village chiefs of the party in Mirik yesterday to work out the campaign strategy.
The GNLF has decided not to attack the Morcha on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration but only to talk about its demand.
“We have nothing to do with the GTA. Our issue is the implementation of the Sixth Schedule status and both the Centre and the state must honour the memorandum of settlement they had signed with the GNLF to accord the special status to the hills on December 6, 2005,” said Rai.
Ghisingh, whose writ no longer runs in the hills, had paid a heavy price when he accepted a proposal to confer the Sixth Schedule status on the hills.
The Centre, the state and Ghisingh’s GNLF had signed a memorandum of settlement, which could not be implemented because of opposition in the hills.
The resultant vacuum had helped Morcha’s Bimal Gurung undermine Ghisingh’s authority and project himself as an alternative power.
The GNLF’s decision to solely concentrate on Sixth Schedule is probably aimed at ensuring a congenial atmosphere in the hills so that the party can hold public meetings freely, instead of going in for a direct confrontation with the Morcha.
The last major public meeting of the GNLF was on April 9 in Mirik to drum up support for the party candidates who had contested the three hill Assembly seats. Ghisingh had addressed the meeting, coming back to the hills a day before after a gap of three years.
The GNLF candidates occupied the second spot in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, polling a cumulative vote of around 40,000. The deposits of all the three were forfeited. Soon after the election results were announced and following a clash between the GNLF and the Morcha supporters in Sonada on May 16, Ghisingh had quietly slipped out of the hills under the cover of darkness.
Since then, Ghisingh has been remaining low even though GNLF supporters did organise a “picnic like gathering” in Darjeeling and Mirik on December 6 to commemorate the signing of the Sixth Schedule settlement.
Observers believe that Ghisingh has chosen Mirik as the venue for his comeback rally as he hails from that area. “The GNLF probably thinks that with the delay in implementing the GTA, it is time to start the groundwork to revive the party,” said a political observer.
Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri has refused to read much into the GNLF plan. “We are not concerned about the meeting. It is insignificant for us as the hill people have time and again rejected the Sixth Schedule.”
World soccer veterans set up Sikkim date
BIJOY GURUNG, TT, Gangtok, Jan. 15: Bhaichung Bhutia’s boys will take on yesteryear’s international players like Dutch superstar Ruud Gullit and Colombian maverick Carlos Valderrama at an exhibition match here on January 22.

Bhaichung Bhutia (left) and players of United Sikkim practise at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok on Sunday. Picture by Prabin Khaling
The Super Football is being organised by the Sikkim government to instil confidence among tourists who are reluctant to come to the state following the earthquake on September 18 last year.
Rudolf Schenker, the founding member of German heavy metal band Scorpions, and world motorbike champion Tim Trenker will also team up with the international footballers to form Superstar XI who will play against Bhaiching’s United Sikkim Football Club.
“The Sikkim government is going all out to bring the state back on the tourism map. After the earthquake last September, the tourism inflow came down drastically. There were lots of rumours floating around that Sikkim was not a safe destination. So, we are bringing footballers practically from all parts of the world to play in Sikkim to send across a message that the state is safe,” sports minister N.K. Pradhan told journalists here today.
The government has formed a committee for the event and agreed to waive stadium fees and entertainment taxes.
“The match is also for a charitable cause. Proceeds from the event will go to charity. The committee will work out how the amount should be spent,” said the minister.
Apart from Gullit and Valderrama, the Superstar XI also features Ali Daei from Iran, Christian Karembeau of France, Claudio Caniggia of Argentina and international Dutch player Regi Blinker.
Daei, Karembeau and Caniggia had played in World Cups.
“World motorbike champion Tim Trenker will also be in the squad and there will be more additions. Schenker will not only play but will also jam during the interval,” said Sunil Hamal of the event management company, with which the government has tied up for the match.
Bhaichung, who was also with the minister at the press meet, said actor Rahul Bose was expected to join the Superstar XI.
“We have also invited former footballers I.M. Vijayan, Jo Paul Ancheri, Alvito D’Cunha and Cheema Okorie to play for the Superstar XI,” he said.
The former Indian captain, who co-owns the United Sikkim, will also play along with his boys at the match at Paljor Stadium.
“It will be an opportunity for United Sikkim to play against such big names and we are looking forward to it. The match will inspire a lot of young players when they see the likes of Valderrama and Gullit playing here,” said Bhaichung.
Despite the ticket prices, the organisers hope that the gallery will be full at Paljor Stadium which can accommodate 18,000 spectators. The price of ticket for the hill side gallery has been fixed at Rs 500. Entry to the two pavilion stands cost Rs 1,200, while one has to shell out Rs 2,000 for the VIP gallery.
“Tickets will be on sale from tomorrow in different parts of Sikkim. The football fans can book online also. We expect the tickets to be sold out by January 20. It is a once in a lifetime event and I am sure people will come,” said Sports secretary Karma P. Bhutia, who is also the secretary of the organising committee.
Gardens seek shield from job scheme
TT,Jalpaiguri, Jan. 15: The Tea Association of India has appealed to the state government to exclude garden workers from the rural job scheme during the plucking season.
The association that has 42 estates under its wing has said a good number of workers prefer to avail themselves of the scheme and it has an adverse impact on the production of tea.
The appeal was made by Hemant Bangur, the all-India president of the association, at the 41st annual general meeting of the body in Jalpaiguri’s Nagrakata yesterday.
R.K. Rungta, the chairperson of the association’s north Bengal chapter, also demanded that work under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme should not be implemented in gardens from April to November, considered to be the “peak season”.
“We are finding that about 30 to 35 per cent of workers stay away from either plucking or factories because of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, affecting the production of tea. If the scheme is still implemented, then the planters will have no other option but to start the mechanisation of the plucking process,” said Rungta.
Trade unions have termed the demand unjust.
“The daily wage of a worker is Rs 130 under the NREGS whereas he is paid only Rs 85 in gardens. An estate labourer would be paid Rs 2,210 if he works for 26 days a month. But an individual gets Rs 1,950 if he works under the NREGS for 15 days,” said Chitta Dey, the convener of the Co-ordination Committee of Tea Plantation Workers.
Dey said the only way out for the estate owners was to make the daily wage in gardens on a par with the pay under the NREGS.
“We have been demanding that the planters be given a daily wage that is higher than what is offered under the NREGS, say Rs 165, to solve the problem,” said Dey.
He said there were nearly 6.5 lakh workers in the 154 tea gardens in the Dooars.
The officer for the NREGS in the Jalpaiguri district, Samaresh Mondal, said providing work under the scheme to job card holders was mandatory. “Anyone with a job card will be provided with work under the central scheme. We cannot deny jobs to anyone under the law.”
North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb will visit the closed Dheklapara tea estate tomorrow to see for himself the problems faced by workers there. He will be accompanied by minister of state for labour Sabina Yasmin.
“The labour minister and I will visit the garden tomorrow along with the labour secretary and take necessary steps for the relief of the workers,” said Deb
The workers in the garden at Madarihat have been reportedly suffering from malnutrition. The estate was shut down in 2005.
Vigil for hurt jumbo
TT, Siliguri, Jan. 15: An elephant that has been hobbling around the forests of Sukna with a fractured leg is being closely monitored by foresters who said there is little that can be done to nurse it back to health.

The animal had suffered multiple bullet injuries about five months ago when it entered a Nepal village and was fired at by a mob. Foresters said although the bullet wounds had healed, there was a fracture in the right foreleg of the elephant.
“The elephant has been spotted between Adlapur in Kurseong forest division and Lamagumba beat of the Mahananda wildlife sanctuary. But it can barely walk. We are keeping it under observation,” said Kanchan Banerjee, the range officer of Sukna wildlife squad.
The stretch where the elephant was seen is about 25km from here.
The 30-year-old injured animal was treated once in September last year at Bamonpokhri forest of Kurseong division. Later in November, the elephant was treated again near Sukna as some of the bullet wounds had not been cured properly.
“Apart from its leg injury, the other wounds have been cured. But there is a fracture in its leg, which is not allowing the animal to move freely. Other than observing it closely, we have little to do as there is no remedy for the elephant,” the range officer said.
Sources in the department said the foresters were worried because the animal will not be able to collect fodder for itself if it cannot move properly.
Foresters said a full-grown elephant requires about 250kg fodder and 300 litre of water everyday.
“We cannot comment on how long the elephant will survive in the forest. All we can say is that we are monitoring the animal to prevent it from entering human habitation. We also trying to prevent it from going deep into the forest as we may have to give fodder to it,” said Benerjee.
He added that now the elephant was eating grass and leaves and drinking water on its own. “But if it becomes immobile, we will have to arrange for the fodder and water.”
Cold wave grips state, Kolkata records coldest day of season
PTI, Kolkata, January 16 2012: The cold wave sweeping most of West Bengal maintained its grip over the region on Sunday with Darjeeling reeling at a low of 0.3 degrees and Kolkata recording the season’s coldest day.

COLD_WAVEThe state capital saw the mercury plummeting to 10 degrees, four notches below normal, while neighbouring Dum Dum shivered at 8.8 deg C, the Regional Meteorological Centre said. It said the cold wave condition is likely to continue in most of south Bengal districts in the next 24 hours.
The severe chill was also felt in Sagar Island, where eight lakh pilgrims took the holy dip at the stroke of dawn on the occasion of ‘Makarsankranti’ today.
The weathermen said that incursion of dry northerly wind from Jharkhand caused temperatures to fall in most of south Bengal districts. “This condition is likely to continue for the next 24 hours,” a MeT official said.
Mercury hovered between eight degrees and 11 degrees Celsius in both north and south Bengal districts including Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Malda, Bankura, Sriniketan and the sea resort of Digha.
’Cos there’s always a cause to run for
Snigdha Rajgarhia, TNN | Jan 11, 2012, MUMBAI: Running for the adrenaline rush or for the causes it supports, the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) always brings with it a basket of joys. From supporting children with disabilities to the Dalit community, and from enabling the girl child to protesting against child abuse-a variety of causes are being taken up in the ninth edition of the marathon on January 15.
As many as 219 NGOs have come forward with causes and issues, many of them relatively less popular, that they want to highlight during Sunday's marathon.
Organizations like Umeed, The Association of People with Disability and Shishu Welfare Trust of India are working for the needs of children and individuals with disabilities, while Cancer Aid & Research Foundation, Indian Cooperative Oncology Network (ICON) Trust and Alert-India are working with individuals who are terminally ill.
Then, there are organizations such as War Wounded Foundation. Founded in 2002, it works to ensure that war-disabled people become productive citizens by participating in the economic development of the nation. On the other hand, Foundation for Promotion of Sports and Games-founded in 2001-supports deserving and talented Indian sportspersons with an aim to help them win Olympic gold medals.
Family Service Centre works towards preserving, promoting and strengthening the family as a unit. Under The Mango Tree (UTMT) Society, which was formed in 2009, seeks to harness the potential of honeybees to add to agricultural productivity and increase farmers' livelihood. Sparrow's Shelter is an NGO that is trying to create awareness among city-dwellers on the drastically decreasing population of local small birds, especially sparrows.
Some regional outfits are also coming forward to highlight the problems of their regions and communities. Roshni Rai of Pedong, Darjeeling, is fighting an identity war for the Gorkhas by running the marathon with 22 of her friends. Their slogan on Sunday will be "We are Gorkhas and proud to be Indians. Jai Gorkha, Jai Hind".
Rural Identity and Cultural Education works with Dalit individuals for the education of children and women in various areas. The Save Children Save Society Academy (SACSAS ACADEMY) of Manipur is working towards socio-economic change in the northeastern state by focusing on basic education.
Tamil Nadu Traditional, Cultural & Educational Charitable Trust propagates the state's tradition and culture across the world.
Mumbai marathon all footwork
KR Guruprasad, DNA, Mumbai,Jan 15, 2012: It must be exhilarating for a city, used to traffic snarls and the bustle of everyday life, to run freely on the very roads which usually embroils them in rush hour chaos.
Mumbai Marathon offers the city, which doesn’t really boast of a running culture, a chance to put on their training shoes, stretch their weary legs and pound the tar and concrete on the roads with every stride.
Ever since the first chapter of the race in 2004, the marathon has burgeoned into an event, which epitomises what is popularly referred to as the spirit of Mumbai.
Some look at it as an inspiration to keep running, some believe it is an ideal platform to espouse their cause. A few want to show the world that their disabilities haven’t really affected their will. For athletes, it is now a portal for higher success, only if they make it through. Mumbai Marathon this Sunday will be all this, the only change being it has gotten bigger and better.
About 38,775 runners are expected to participate in this event, which is now considered among the top marathons in the world. Befittingly the total prize money has been increased to $340,000, an increase of $15,000 over what was on offer last year.
While the runners from Africa, especially those from Ethiopia and Kenya, will renew their rivalry and hope to pocket the big purse, the marathon offers Indian athletes a bigger cake — a chance to win a berth for the London Olympics.
The Athletics Federation of India has given the marathon the ‘national’ status and the timings from the event will be considered as a qualifying mark for the London Olympics to be held later this year.
For athletes such as Lyngkhoi Binning, who was the fastest Indian in the last two chapters of the marathon, Ram Singh Yadav and Angad Kumar this marathon is one of the last few chances to make it to the Olympics.
The route of the marathon has been tweaked and the start has been advanced by 15 minutes to ensure that the Indian runners are able to attain better timing and hopefully, run within the ‘B’ standard Olympic qualifying mark of 2:18.
To put things in perspective, Lyngkhoi was the fastest Indian in the last edition and he had clocked 2: 21. The organisers have also turned the route around a bit and the athletes will hit the Bandra-Worli Sea Link at 14 km mark instead of the 24km mark like the last time.
In the previous edition, it was observed that the sea-link phase of the marathon had slowed down the runners because of heat and absence of water points. So, an early entry will mean the athletes will run the stretch when they are relatively fresh and the temperature is cooler. However, the windy conditions could still pose a challenge.
The marathon will see a new overall winner this time in both men and women as last year’s champions Girima Assefa and Koren Yal, both Ethiopians, have skipped the event. It will be Kenyan runners pitted against those from Ethiopia.
Kenya’s William Kipsang enjoys the personal best among the athletes, with a 2:05:49, a course record at Rotterdam. However, he has recently returned from a two-year lay off and hopes to make a timing of 2:09. It may be way below his best, but in Mumbai, it may just be good enough.
Other Kenyans such as Luke Kibet, Philomen Tarbei and John Mutai will be strong contenders. Ethiopians Siraj Gena, Raji Assefa will be looking to usurp the Kenyans. In the women’s category, Ethiopians Makda Harun and Fatuma Sado are favourites.
Weather is predicted to be pleasant and Sun is expected to rise at around 7.15 am and it will play a big role in the full marathon, which will be flagged off a 10 minutes later.The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon is India’s biggest marathon. First held in 2004, the Mumbai Marathon is part of “The Greatest Race on Earth”, an event sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank. The marathon was awarded the IAAF Silver Label Road Race for 2009 and promoted to the top rated Gold Label for 2011. The day’s events also include a half marathon race which is contested by the top-level Indian runners.
Corporate biggies gear up for Mumbai Marathon
Dearton Thomas Hector, Business today, Mumbai, January 14:With only hours to go for the ninth annual Mumbai Marathon, the who's who of the Indian corporate world is also gung-ho about the 2012 edition of Asia's richest marathon. Among the participants who are expected to participate, Anil Ambani of Reliance ADA group, Deepak Parekh of HDFC, Anand Mahindra of the Mahindra of the Mahindra group make just the tip of the iceberg.
"It is going to be the biggest so far. People are now moving to longer distances than previous years," says Vivek Singh, the Joint Managing Director of Procam International Limited who is organizing the event.
Since its inception in 2004, the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon has been embraced by the city and its citizens as its very own, the sense of ownership and belonging strengthening over the years. In the ninth year the event was oversubscribed much before the last date.
The Full Marathon has received 2775 entries, while the Half Marathon a whopping 13,946. The Senior Citizens' Run will have 1251 participants, while the Wheelchair Event 370, with 20,500 people registering for the Dream Run.
To run the full marathon of 42 kilometres, it requires a lot of motivation and rigorous training for months in advance. "Meditation is my motivation and I focus on my mental health more than physical training," says Gagan Banga, CEO of India Bulls Financial Services Ltd. who has been participating in various marathons from 2003 onwards.
For some companies, this is part of their Human Resource activities. "As part of our HR policy, we support the running club and this year 50 employees are participating," says Saily Gupta, HR head of Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd.
For Vivek Singh of Procam everyone will be a winner tomorrow. Arnab Banerjee, the Executive Director at CEAT Tyres of the RPG group seems to agree. "It is the excitement and the mental satisfaction after finishing it is what is special for me," says Banerjee. From the RPG group 60 employees are participating including their Deputy MD Anant Goenka.
United Way of Mumbai, the official Charity Partner for the 9th StandardChartered Mumbai Marathon, promoted by Procam International, have set a new record this year with Rs.12.2 crore already raised for 222 NGOs. The event this year will also see 152 corporates with 223 teams, 4985 charity fund raisers and above 30,000 donors.
"Vodafone India is running for the Childline India Foundation in the Half Marathon and Dream Run Category for the Standard Chartered International Mumbai Marathon 2012. Each participant will be wearing a green coloured T-shirt which would carry a ICE (In Case of Emergency) number so that people who want to rescue a child can call on the same number and bring it to the attention of the concerned authorities. Around 37 members of the organization would be participating in the Run," says Suresh Rangarajan, Head of Public Relations, Vodafone India.
For many, it is just the sheer joy of helping others which counts. "I was quite inspired by the selfless services offered by the Nike Run Club and that made me feel that I should also contribute to the running community by offering my services as a pacer for the 2 hour stretch so that I could help many first timer runners to complete in the desired time," says Kaushik Panchal of the Nike Run Club, an initiative that has been started by Nike to help people who wish to participate in any marathon by giving expert advise and tips.
Everything seems to be in place for tomorrow's big event. Don't forget to put your best running shoes on!

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