Darjeeling Initiative tries to revive the hills

(From the archives: This report was first published in 2004 in India Today.)

Darjeeling Initiative is a loose clubbing of men and women, mostly in their 20s or barely into their 30s. These young minds-some are businessmen, some NGO activists, others executives-try to do what official agencies fail, or neglect, to do.

The group started in March 2003 with a fairly innocuous, if overdue, initiative like the "Welcome Home" campaign to receive students and their parents from across the country back to school after winter vacations

Later in November 2003, the group organised the Darjeeling Carnival, a 10-day community celebration of Darjeeling's culture and history. It was a marvel of coordination-energising merchants, performers, artists, travel agents and officials into volunteering their services for the music, art, dance and food extravaganza.

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