‘Hill & Plain’ Gears Up To Celebrate Ties

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Siliguri: The hills and the plains are gearing up for a series of events ranging from a car rally, a mountain biking race and a walkathon to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties with Bhutan.

On Friday, Siliguri will flag off the Biswa Bangla JK Tyre Himalayan Drive 6, which is the country’s only tri-nation rally that will traverse through Nepal, Terai, Dooars, Bhutan before concluding in Darjeeling on February 28. The rally will draw More than 100 participants.

The bike race will be held in Darjeeling on Sunday in a first for the hill town. The nearly 20km uphill ride from Lebong to Tiger Hill has attracted mountain bikers from Nepal, Sikkim, Siliguri and the rest of the hills.

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“The event is aimed at promoting adventure tourism and is also a reflection of the growing craze for environment-friendly mode of transport,” said Dawa Sherpa, vice-president, Mountain Biking Club (MTB, which is organising the event.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, residents of Darjeeling will participate in a walkathon which, for a change, will start at dusk.

Nirnay John Chhetri, founder, Mankind in Action for Rural Growth (MARG), an NGO which works on anti-human trafficking issues will organise the walkathon.

“The event will start from Dali and from near Darjeeling Government College before converging at Ladenla Road and proceeding to Chowrasta, where we will be felicitating a 98-year old lady, Gurujini Badi,” said Chhetri.

All participants will be given headgear torchlight. “We want to celebrate womanhood,” said Gayatri Rai, member of Team MARG.