Gorkha Sanskritik Milan Samaroh, a three-day cultural programme, kicked-off from the Sukna railway station, around 11 km away from Siliguri. The three-day event jointly organised by the Gorkha Saheed Sewa Samiti, Siliguri- Jalpaiguri Gorkha Youth Parishad, Siliguri Gorkha Manch, Chinari Foundation, and the Darjeeling Rehabilitation Co-operative Society, will be held at Gandhi Maidan near Check Post in Siliguri.

“This is something new brought by the Gorkhas. A festive mood is prevalent here at the beginning of the New Year. They have boarded the Toy Train and will reach their destination while singing and dancing in their traditional way. I am here to support them,” Tourism Minister Gautam Deb said as he inaugurated the event.

Saroj Lama, one of the organisers of the event, said the programme will come end on 12 January, when a biography on Martyr Captain Dalbahadur Thapa will be launched. “We are expecting everybody to participate in the programme. Today, after the Toy-Train is flagged off by minister Deb, it will start its journey to Darjeeling More from where we will be heading towards our venue,” he said at Sukna.

Exhibition of models of the Darjeeling Toy Train, Gorkha cultural shows, promotion of tea, tourism, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and live musical nights will be the highlights of the event. Colonel BM Kumar, the chief patron of the Gorkha Saheed Sewa Samiti, said, “The Gorkhas have been playing a vital role in every fight for this country.

This programme is being organised to honour the sacrifice of martyrs for the nation and to provide some support to the family members of those martyrs.” Acknowledging the TMC government, he said, “The Gorkha community fully supports chief minister Mamata Banerjee as we believe that she has been very honest in her work. We hope that she will also continue to support us.”