Come May 7 and you could be part of a record breaking attempt to run with the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) through meandering roads with the magnificent Kanchenjunga over the shoulder. To give the event -Fun Run with the DHR -a carnival-like feel, organizers have asked participants to turn up in costumes or traditional attire.
Organized by the proposed Darjeeling Rehabilitation Service Cooperative Society (DRSCS), a Darjeeling based social organization in collaboration with the DHR, the run will start from Ghoom, the highest railway station in the country at an altitude of 2,258m, and cover 7km to Darjeeling station. “The DHR is a heritage and at we organize such events to help preserve its status. With this event, we also want to promote local tourism,” said Suman Pradhan, station master of the Darjeeling railway station.
Participants over 16 will be eligible to to either run along or walk along with the steam engine. “The idea is not just to run and try to beat the train, but to participate to help contribute to preserving the heritage locomotive. As citizens, it is our responsibility . If the DHR is preserved then we will also benefit, as the local economy is dependent on it,” said Abdulla Azami, president of DRSCS.
“We want people to enjoy the event and have thus decided to give it a carnival flavour on the lines of the Rio Carnival and make it a calendar tourism event. The costumes can be anything from cartoon characters to our traditional dress. We want the event to be colourful, which in turn will attract more tourists, who can then join in.”
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