Protect and preserve originality of Dzongu: Lepcha tribes

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Jaipur, Oct 3 (UNI) The Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association, a north Sikkim based tribal outfit, has sought Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad's intervention for stopping construction of hydel power projects in Dzongu, the sacred and protected land of ethnic Lepchs.

The association President Lyangsong Tamsang Lepcha raised the issue during the concluding session of the parishad's 14th National Convention here yesterday.

Mr Lepcha told the delegates that Dzongu, a town at the base of Mount Kanchanjanga, was the origin of the indigenous Lepcha tribes for whom the place was sacred.

He said, ''this sacred place is being polluted, defiled and dishonoured with construction of mega dam for hydel power projects.'' He added the tribals wanted to preserve the indigenous originality of this natural habitat and heritage, but this cause was at a peril due to the dam construction.

Mr Lepcha said the tribals were holding demonstration and hunger strike in Gangtok, Kalimpong and Darjeeling for the last three months demanding stoppage of the dam construction.

However, the Centre as well as the Sikkim state government was showing apathy to their concerns and demand, he said.

The parishad should send a delegation to Gangtok, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Dzongu on a fact finding mission and to plan out a strategy to help the tribe in its cause and campaign, he added.

As per the folk lore, the first Lepcha man -- Fudongthing -- and the first Lepcha woman -- Nuzaongnyoo -- were created by Itboo Deboo Rum, the creator of Dzongu, at the base of Kingchoomzaongboo (Mount Kanchanjanga). Their offsprings are the present day Lepcha.

UNI

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