Siliguri, Feb. 10: The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad will confer the title of Singi Dai on chief minister Mamata Banerjee at a felicitation to be held in Malbazar on February 12.
Birsa Tirkey, state president of the Parishad, said the title meaning “warrior princess” would be given to someone for the first time.
“We would confer the title of Singi Dai on the chief minister not only for taking the initiative to form the tribal development department and the tribal advisory council but also for honouring her fighting spirit because of which, she is in this position today,” he said.
In September last year, Mamata was given the title of Kingstoom Darmit (bestower of fortune) by the Lepchas.
Tirkey said: “The emperor of the erstwhile Magada dynasty had attacked Rohtasgarh fort, which was guarded by the tribals, three times but failed to capture it because a woman named Singi gathered the other women of the community and resisted the royal force. We consider the award a rare feat and it is for the first time that we are going to bestow it on someone.” The fort, now in Rohtas district of Bihar, was captured in the fourth attempt and Singi was killed.
The Parishad felicitation would be held on the army grounds near Caltex More in Malbazar at 2pm. Somji Bhai Damor, all India chief of the Parishad and Tejkumar Toppo, state general secretary, and representatives of tea estates from the region would be present.
“After a reception with tribal dance and song, the national president will welcome the chief minister with a bouquet. The state president will give her a memento (a bow and an arrow in a glass box) and Bina Samad, one of our state committee members, will felicitate her with a shawl,” Toppo said.
The Parishad leaders will also submit proposals for the development of the tribals to Mamata.
Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate a health centre in Jaigaon on the India-Bhutan border on February 12. It will be the only health centre in Kalchini block of Jalpaiguri district.