STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Kurseong, 6 January
The renowned academic and former Vice-Chancellor of Sikkim University, Mahendra P Lama stressed that empowerment through education is the only means to rightly deal with the crisis of identity haunting the people of the Darjeeling Hills since long. “Half of the problem would be solved if we go for education,” he said  in Kurseong yesterday.
Notably, Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Forum, an apolitical organisation, has come up recently at the behest of the academic.
He has also started
campaigning in the Hills and the plains following his decision to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election from Darjeeling constituency as an Independent candidate.
As part of his public contact programme, he met and interacted with the representatives from the drivers’ associations in Kurseong. During the meeting, the representatives of the drivers associations shared their problems with Mr Lama.
Mr Lama said that there is solution to every problem. “What we need to do is to visit the right place and to have the right vision,” he said.
He said that there are presently 82 schemes and projects sponsored by the Centre.
“All kinds of problems, including the traffic and the road problems, can be solved under these schemes if these are rightly implemented here. But unfortunately neither the people&’s representatives nor the
leaders have the will to take the right initiatives,” he said. 
Dwelling on the demand for Gorkhaland, Mr Lama said this is also acheivable. “We must wait for the right objective situations and at the same time, we should be subjectively prepared for the consummation. What we need is a broad, inclusive vision encompassing the interests of all, embracing all and rejecting none,” the academic said.