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25 Apr 2018

Stars add dazzle to Rising Star

Some of the participants in Rising Star, the talent hunt competition, at the Capital Hall in Darjeeling
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Apr 25, 2018 Darjeeling: Rising Star, billed the biggest talent hunt in the Darjeeling hills, is in its last leg with celebrities from Nepal selecting finalists after Bollywood celebrities extended their support to the contest.

Adrian Pradhan, a household name in Nepali music and Kaviraj Ghataraj, a well-known choreographer from Nepal's film industry, judged the semi-finals that took place in Darjeeling on Saturday and Sunday.

The event, which carries a total prize amount of Rs 22.44 lakh, is being organised by Darjeeling police as part of their initiative to strengthen bonds with citizens.

Siddharth Dorji, deputy superintendent of police (Darjeeling town), said: "Ten finalists in each of the four categories have been selected for the finals that will be held on May 12 and 13 in Darjeeling. Adrian Pradhan and Kaviraj Ghataraj were celebrity judges during the semi-final round." The four categories include senior and junior sections in both singing and dance. Nearly 5,000 contestants have signed up.

Pradhan lauded the initiative. "This is a great platform for budding talents. We did not have it in our days. Darjeeling has always had talents. However, a proper environment is needed for talents to foster," Pradhan said during an interaction with the media on the sidelines of the semi-finals over the weekend.

Pradhan, from Kalimpong but currently based in Kathmandu, stressed the need for peace in the hills and recalled that he and some other artistes had to cancel a programme in Darjeeling last year because of unrest caused by the statehood movement.

"It is said I along with my friends and member of Parikarma group (one of India's most famous rock and roll bands) were forced to cancel our event (in Kalimpong). Peace is needed in the region," Pradhan said.

One of the members of Parikarma group is Sonam Sherpa, who is also from Kalimpong, but sources maintain that the event had to be cancelled because of pressure from the then political dispensation of the hills.

Dorji said that plans are afoot to hold the finals at Chowrasta. "On May 12, the finals for the junior categories will be held followed by the finals for the seniors the next day. Our plan is to organise the finals at Chowrasta provided the weather holds up or else we will hold it at Capitol Hall," said Dorji.

The contest is being supported by Bollywood big names like John Abraham, singer Mohit Chauhan, TV star Karanvir Bohra, hairstylist Aalim Hakim and Yogeshwor Amatya, a singer from Kathmandu, among several others.

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