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Drukpa monks to open new Sikkim chapter

(image) Gangtok: The Drukpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism is set to kick-start a new chapter in Sikkim of their global charity, which would open eco-friendly schools similar to the one in Ladakh that was featured in popular Bollywood flick "3 Idiots."

he new chapter of the "Live to Love" charity was announced at the culmination of a 300-km long `eco padyatra` that began on December 2 and aimed to raise awareness about the ecological issues faced by the mighty Himalayas.

Initiated by the Gyalwang Drukpa, leader of the order, the padyatra which began in Darjeeling witnessed participation by around 300 people, including monks and nuns.

he group campaigned against plastic bags and picked up waste material they found along their route during the 27 days of their trek.

"Mankind today has rocked the peace of the earth and terms every disaster as nature`s fury when it is has actually been man-made. They proclaim it as a natural disaster and express their inabilities to do anything about these calamities," said the Gyalwang Drukpa.

"However, I am very proud to have accomplished the 300 kilometre padyatra which is not the end but the beginning," the spiritual leader of the 1,000 year old order based in the Himalayas and who has dedicated to work for the Himalayan region told PTI.

he `eco-padyatra` is the second by the spiritual head who had in 2009 travelled on foot from Leh to Manali for the same cause.

"The trek was comparatively easier than the previous one but we did came across dangerous terrains like the one in Laringningpo where the travellers had to walk on a narrow steep ridge," said Jigme Karuna Yangchen, a Buddhist nun who participated in the trek.

"We could not make it a mass movement as people are still naive and lazy to pick up the issue but the locals did feel ashamed and joined us in collecting the waste such as food wrappers and plastic bags," said the nun.

he Gyalwang Drukpa who has been creating awareness about ecological issues for the past 20 years feels climate summits held by the world leaders has been so far a mere babble of tongues.

"I know I am a small man in front of these world powers but my message to these high profile people is that they need to put in a lot of effort from the core of their heart which is still partial as more of their activities are war prone and destructive," said the leader of the Drukpa Buddhist order.

Meanwhile, in order to carry forward their legacy, the spiritual order`s "Live to Love" foundation plans to set up advanced eco-friendly schools, like the Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, for which the lineage has been bestowed the United Nation`s Millennium Development Honour.

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