Special cell salary from gardens

The Telegraph

Kalimpong, Feb. 16: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has decided to raise funds to pay the salaries of the Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP), a special cell of volunteers raised by the outfit.

“Our president has appealed to all Gorkhaland supporters to contribute generously towards the fund. For starters, the party will make an effort to collect money from the tea gardens. Workers will be asked to contribute Rs 20 per month, sub-staff Rs 50, staff Rs 100, assistant managers Rs 150 and managers Rs 200,” said Binay Tamang, the Morcha spokesperson.

The party has been on a drive to recruit youths for the GLP and conducting training programme for them in Gorubathan. From the Dooars alone, it wants to recruit around 5,000 to 10,000 men and women for the force. The Morcha has promised to pay a monthly salary of Rs 2,000 to each volunteer.

The Morcha has also sent 10 tailors from Kalimpong to Gorubathan to stitch uniforms for the GLP volunteers. “We have bought 12 machines here and have been on the job since February 12,” said Basir Ahmed, the vice-president of the Kalimpong Tailors’ Welfare Association.

Another batch of 10 tailors will reach Gorubathan tomorrow to replace the present lot. The tailors will work on a rotation basis till the last uniform is stitched. “We are happy to do our bit for the cause of Gorkhaland,” said Dilip, who runs a tailoring unit at Super Market here.

Some of them, however, sounded not very elated about going down to Gorubathan, given that this is one of their peak business seasons.

“We could have happily sewn the GLP clothes here. This would have also allowed us to carry on with our daily business simultaneously,” said a tailor, who did not want to be identified.

Kalimpong being an education centre, the tailors do a roaring business stitching school uniforms at this time of the year as the new academic session is round the corner.

The association leader has also agreed that the problem exists. “Yes, we will not be able to deliver the school uniforms on time. But, hopefully, the parents will bear with us,” Ahmed said.

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