Gangtok: It was a homecoming which overflowed with jubilation and pride as Tarundeep Rai made it to the south district headquarter town with literally the entire town lining the streets to greet the ace archer and fete him for his performance at the Asian Games.
Tarundeep, who hails from Purano Namchi, a few kilometers from here has become the first Indian to win a medal, a silver, in men?s individual archer section in the Asian Games.
Garlanding flowed free and there were smiles all around as Tarundeep drove into town yesterday and was accorded a rousing welcome organised by the South District Football Association and joined in by the Namchi population and host of VIPs.
The player was welcomed in traditional manner near the SDF party office here and then escorted to the Dak Bunglow.
More than 5,000 people showed up to welcome Tarundeep at his home and there were a Tricolours, congratulatory placards and banners everywhere.
Tarundeep thanked the people of Namchi for the overwhelming welcome and shared that such adulation was inspiring and would now fuel his future competitions.
Later, the SDFA hosted a lunch in honour of Tarundeep at the Dak Bunglow where he was invited to attend the finals of the All India Chief Minister’s Gold Cup as the guest of honour on December 4, which Tarundeep accepted.
Tarundeep took his initial schooling at the Namchi Senior Secondary School and picked up archery at his village, Purano Namchi.
His skill was noticed by talent scouts of Gorkha Rifles while he was still a young student and taken on a sports scholarship.
Now that he is back on a holiday, Tarundeep will be staying at Purano Namchi with his parents.