STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Siliguri, 6 January
Pressing their demand for a Limbu Tribal Development Council on the lines of Lepcha Development Board recently put into motion by the state government, the people belonging to Limbu community took to the streets in Siliguri today. The Limbu Association, West Bengal insists the council be set up under the West Bengal government and not under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). The association served a memorandum, addressing the chief minister through the
office of Siliguri ADM, P T Sherpa.
"We want the development body be set up under the state government because the members of the community live scattered all over the state. We want all of them should receive benefits of the council. According to our estimate, there are around 1.5 lakh Limbus, living in the state. This is an imperative to boost development of the community. Despite having a rich culture, tradition and language, we have been lagging behind in every index of development because of the governmental apathy,” said Dinesh Subba, a member of the association. Hundreds of Limbu community people, including women, attired in their traditional apparel, staged the rally, flaunting placards in Siliguri.
Another association member lamented that the Limbu script and language which were once widely spoken and written is decaying due to non-introduction of the Limbu language at the school levels.
Mr Subba said the association had submitted a memorandum to the chief minister during her visit to Kurseong on 23 October, last year.
“She had assured us that her government would look into our demands. A few days later, two members of the Cultural Research Institute met us and discussed about our demand of the council," he added.
The executive member of the Mayalayang Lepcha Development Board, Bhupendra Lepcha, who also took part in the rally, said the Limbu community deserves the council for its socio-economic uplift.
“We are with them. All the communities should march shoulder to shoulder along the road to all-round development,” he added.