Charity lunch for ambulances- kalimpong waits for swedish gift

Kalimpong, Feb. 15: The Himalayan Organisation for People’s Education (HOPE), a local NGO, will host a charity luncheon on Sunday to raise funds for the management and maintenance of the two custom-made ambulances, which are expected to arrive here from Sweden in July.

Morgan Lodge, which overlooks the golf ground on Rinkingpong Road, will be the venue for the lunch, tickets for which will be sold at Rs 250 (single), Rs 400 (couple) and Rs 500 (family). “We have printed 500 tickets and hope to raise about Rs 1 lakh from the event,” said Mahesh Moktan, HOPE’s programme coordinator. To be managed by Good Shepherd Institute of Hotel Management here, the fare to be arranged will “suit every palate”. The food will also be catered by the hotel management institute, which is located on East Main Road here.

Young violinists of Gandhi Ashram here will look after the entertainment for the afternoon. “We will also have various games for the guests. Winners will take home gift hampers,” said Moktan.

The ambulances are being donated by a Sweden-based charity organisation, Ambulance Donation, whose members comprise diverse professionals from the Scandinavian country. Fitted with life-saving equipment, the Mercedes vehicles will also have full-size beds fitted in them.

A 10-member team of the Swedish organisation, led by expedition leader Kjell Bornelnad and coordinator Tina Hoijer, will drive the ambulances to India from Sweden. The other members will start from Sweden on June 11 on a Landrover and two motorcycles and are expected to reach here in early July. Once here, they will hand over the ambulances to HOPE, which, in its turn, will look for an agency that will operate the vehicles on a non-profit basis.

“Till we find the right people willing to take on the responsibility of the service, we will manage it on our own,” said Moktan. “That is why we are organising the charity luncheon. The money collected will be used for it.”

Earlier, the Swedish organisation had donated similar ambulances to poor patients of Nepal and Morocco.

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