Darjeeling, July 6: State and central government employees from across the Darjeeling hills have decided to donate a day’s salary — on an average around Rs 500 each — every month to Bimal Gurung’s party to enable it to sustain the movement for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

The two employees’ association in the hills, which have taken the decision, claim to have around 5,000 members each.

“This is our contribution to the movement. We have decided to collect one day’s salary from the employees and hand it over to Bimal Gurung,” said Amar Rai, the president of the Hill Employees’ and Workers’ Trade Union.

The Union has decided to create a “Gorkhaland Relief Fund” for this purpose and every employee will be given a receipt for the donation.

“We will collect the amount by the 10th of every month and at the end of three months, we will hand over the money to Bimal Gurung,” said Rai.

Gurung’s party, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, is leading the movement for a new state in the hills.

“The average day’s salary would be about Rs 500 a head every month,” the president of the 13-year-old Union said.

This means the Union can collect around Rs 25 lakh every month.

The decision to create the fund was taken during the Union’s meeting held in Darjeeling yesterday. “Representatives of the Union from Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Mirik, Takdha, Sukhiapokhri and Bijanbari attended the meeting and unanimously passed a resolution on this,” said Rai.

The Hill Employees’ Association has decided to follow suit and collect a day’s salary from every employee under it.

“We also had our meeting in Darjeeling yesterday and unanimously decided to collect a day’s salary. We will hand it over to the Morcha for its movement,” B.P. Chhetri, the vice-president of the Hill Employees’ Association, said.

The Association, too, claims that a day’s salary of its members, on an average, is around Rs 500.

Sources said teachers from across the hills were thinking of doing the same as part of their contribution towards the movement.

The recently formed Janmukti Karmachari Samwaya Manch — an umbrella body comprising the Union, the Association and the Janmukti Karmachari Sangathan — has also unanimously decided to support the Morcha, which includes indefinite closure of state and central government offices from tomorrow.

“The Manch will coordinate all programmes involving the hill employees,” said Chhetri, who is also the convener of the Manch.


Anonymous said...

a great way to collect hafta in the name of Gorkhaland. Is this money transparent and accountable? Guess not!