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World Cup fever grips Darjeeling town 

Darjeeling: World Cup fever has gripped the Queen of Hills, with not only flags of their favorite teams fluttering atop houses of football aficionados, but different organisations also coming up together to declare Darjeeling a ‘World Cup Town’ on 2 June amid various programs.

For the FIFA World Cup, which is scheduled to start next month, the Darjeeling North Point School Alumni Association (DNPSAA) and various NGOs and associations, including Positive Heart, Shanker Foundation and MARG, feel that by organizing such a program, they could contribute towards bringing back the lost glory of Darjeeling.

“We owe everything to this place and the Herculean task at hand is to establish to the rest of the world that peace and normality has returned to the Queen of Hills. The future of the town in different respects, including tourism and education, depends on this. We chose to use the World Cup football tournament for this as football is the heartthrob of Darjeeling. We are transforming Darjeeling to a World Cup Town from June 2,” DNPSAA president Deven Gurung said in a press release on Monday.

On 2 June, a day-long football carnival is being organized, which would include a football parade, cheer leading competition, and garage sales to be held by Shanker Foundation, Dance Fiesta by Edith Wilkins Street Children’s Trust, and a bike and scooty rally from Kurseong organized by MARG.

Other programmes that day also include a mountain bike rally, BMX stunt, cosplay, B-boying, face painting, nail art, hair-do, musical performances and beat-boxing.

“There will be awards for cheer-leading display, along with an award for the best-decorated area of Darjeeling with a World Cup theme at the end of the World Cup tournament,” said the press release.

Maintaining that they have started getting very good response in and around Darjeeling, the release added that schools, colleges, associations, and veteran footballers, along with people from different walks of life, would be taking part in the parade.

The programme hopes to generate funds for the project ‘Clinic on Wheels,’ which is being undertaken by the DNPSAA with logistical support from the Darjeeling Dooars Medical Association.

This project aims to provide medical facilities in far-flung areas. “Apart from this, the events also aim to promote Darjeeling as the world’s nicest place and promote and revive football in the Hills,” the alumni association said.

(Statesman News Service)

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