Sikkim is another beautiful state that very recently became a part of the northeastern region. Sikkim is also one of the most peaceful states in the country and is fast becoming a highly developed one as well. From becoming the first state to be declared open defecation free to witnessing a fast growing literacy rate, Sikkim growth trajectory is on the rise. Sikkim is also the first organic state in the country. Even though it is one of the smallest states in the country, Sikkim continues to grow and shine in various ways. Just as the state is growing exponentially, so are its people. Some Sikkimese have taken the name of the state far beyond its borders and have made all of us incredibly proud. Let’s take a look at a few such personalities.
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The torchbearer (of sorts) for Sikkim, Baichung Bhutia’s name cannot be easily replaced from Indian football. Born in a small village in Sikkim to farmer parents, Baichung’s sheer talent took him to the greatest of successes. From being the second Indian footballer to professionally play in Europe to wearing the captain’s jersey for the Indian football team, he has done it all.
Danny Denzongpa was one of Hindi cinema’s favorite villains of the 70s and 80s. Born in Gangtok, Danny did his schooling from the state capital. Alumni of Film and Television Institute of India (FTTI), he soon joined the film industry. Apart from being part of numerous Hindi films, Danny also has to his credit the famous international film Seven Years in Tibet.
A reputed fashion designer, Omi Gurung was born and brought up in Sikkim. Before becoming a full-time designer, he worked as a fashion editor. He owns a very popular eco-friendly boutique called Green Gangtok.
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If you follow English news channels in India, you would have definitely come across Karma Paljor’s face. He is a regular news reader and journalist for CNN-News 18. He did his schooling from Tashi Namgyal Academy in Gangtok.
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Hope Cooke has an almost long-forgotten history with Sikkim. She was the last ‘Gyalmo’ or Queen of the Chogyal dynasty that ruled Sikkim before it was annexed to India in 975. An American by birth, she had given up her birth citizenship after she married Palden Thondup Namgyal, the last Chogyal of Sikkim, in 1963. However their marriage did not survive and they divorced in 1980. Namgyal died in 1982. Cooke now lives in America.
An actress by profession, Geetanjali Thapa has won a national award for best actress for the film Liar’s Dice in 2013. Born and brought up in Sikkim, Thapa moved to Kolkata for higher education. Before becoming an actress, she was a professional model and had won the Mega Miss North East beauty pageant in 2007.
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Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is a renowned Buddhist monk and scholar. He is the seventh in-line to become the Dzogchen Ponlop. He did his formal education from Rumtek Monastery and is currently based in Seattle, Washington.
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