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Player pledges prize for charity
- Bhaichung returns home

Gangtok, June 8: Indian soccer captain returned to a rousing welcome here last evening after proving that his brilliant footwork had prevailed over others on the dance floor of a reality show that he topped.

The player pledged a portion of the Rs 40 lakh he had received as prize for emerging top in the show for charity.

“I had never sung or danced in my life and the show was an experience completely different from my football career. But still, it was a great feeling. I want to thank my choreographer and all those who voted for me across the state and the country,” said Bhaichung.

The captain added that he had received a prize of Rs 40 lakh and he gave half the amount to his choreographer, Sonia. “Of the remaining money, I am going to donate Rs 10 lakh for charity. I have already handed over Rs 1.5 lakh to Bengal chief minister’s relief fund for the victims of Cyclone Aila. I propose to donate money to orphanages in Sikkim and to other institutions,” said the player.

Bhaichung thanked T. Lachungpa, the veteran politician who distanced himself from the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections to drum up support for him by forming a forum of supporters and touring extensively for votes. Lachungpa has been presented with Bhaichung’s India team jersey that was autographed by Formula One legend, Michael Schumacher.

Speaking on the future of his football career, Bhaichung confirmed that he was not returning to Mohun Bagan. “I still have a year with the club as per the contract. It was unfortunate that the club hauled me up just because I could not play an exhibition match in Siliguri. We had already won the Super Cup. There are several offers and I am yet to decide which club I will join,” said the footballer, who is on a two-week visit to the state.

A gala celebration is scheduled to be held at Palzor stadium here on June 13 and Sonia and other stars will attend it.

Lachungpa said the entry for the event would be free and another show would be held in Kalimpong.

“Bhaichung will also visit Darjeeling to thank the people who voted for him. But there will be no celebration, considering the devastation caused by Aila there.”

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