The chairman of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Board of Administrators, Binoy Tamang, is scheduled to visit Sikkim on 26 April on the invitation from Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling to attend the 100th birth anniversary of literary and political figure Shiva Kumar Rai there.

With the relationship between Darjeeling Hills and Sikkim getting better after a brief bout of sourness in the recent past, this will be the second time this year that Mr Tamang will be visiting the neighbouring state.

It may be recalled that the two leaders held a meeting in Gangtok on 27 March. “A programme is being organized at Rhenock in Sikkim to mark the birth centenary of Shiva Kumar Rai by the Sikkim government, for which, the Sikkim CM has also invited Mr Tamang,” GTA District School Board chief Tshering Dahal said The late Rai was born on 26 April 1919 in Rehnock and he later played a role in different fields like politics and literature in the Hills and died on 22 June 1995.

Apart from being a well known literary figure, he was also one of the founder members of the political party, Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League, and was also the first Gorkha deputy minister in Bengal.

“Under the joint venture of the GTA and the Satavarsini Samaro Ayojok Samiti in Kurseong, we have decided to observe the birth anniversary that day. The District School Board here has also dispatched a circular among primary and high schools, asking teachers there to brief students on the Late Rai’s legacy after the assembly. From this year onwards, the GTA will also be giving away an award in the name of Shiva Kumar Rai. The first recipient will be announced by the GTA chairman from Sikkim that day itself,” Ms Dahal said.