On the 26th of April His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and his entourage travelled to Jangthang, Ladhak to visit the Go Green & Go Organic project, which has been one of Holiness' wishes for a long time.
More than 30 vehicles and many village people accompanied His Holiness. On the way His Holiness and his team visited a project site of a future plantation project and rock garden and they all had tea and refreshments.
Thereafter, His Holiness visited Durbuk escorted by 500 people and more than one hundred vehicles. His Holiness inaugurated the nursery of the Sea Buck Thorn tree, they planted over 4000 trees, and had lunch at the Durbuk Temple. After lunch His Holiness and entourage visited Shayok, where he was welcomed by the Youth Association and over 3000 village people along the way.
On the morning of the 27th His Holiness gave an empowerment of Tamdin, Chakdor, and Chung Sum to prevent any obstacls from the local deities of that place, since the place has been untouched until now. After the empowerment they all went to the valley of Darsengkarmo and traveled the 50km to the site of the Go Green & Go Organic Project, where they worked on the plan of the plantation program.
At 11am on the 28th the Inauguration of the Go Green project took place with the CEC (Chief Executive Councillor) participating. The Jangthang Councillor and 8 other leaders of the surrounding villages, most Ven. Togden Rinpoche, most Ven. Rangdol Rinpoche, most Ven. Rigyal Rinpoche, and all the monks and nuns of the Shachukhil monastery, Phyang monastery, and Lama Yuru, and many people of the surrounding villages were also present.
During his speech CEC Rizgin Spalber said, "Today is the day which in the history of Ladhak is written by a golden pen and ink, when His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has initiated such a valuable Go Green & Go Organic project, which brings sustainable development for all the people and sentient beings of Ladhak. Until now, the people of Ladhak have had three main sources of income for their livelihood: the first is help from the Indian Army, the second is from tourism, and the third is help and support from the government. But all these three sources are not reliable: we cannot rely on the Indian army, tourism, and help from the government, because the army is moving frequently from one place to another, tourism may stop due to some unforeseen situation, and the government may not be able to afford to help because of the inflation in the country. In such a situation the people of Ladhak might face big hardships in the future. At such a time the only thing which could help us would be the sustainable development of Go Green & Go Organic, which was initiated most graciously by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon and offered to us as a gift. So we all should put our united efforts into this, and take full responsibility to make this project successful for all of us and hundreds of generations to come. I will also try to find some additional support from some of the other leaders who are my friends."
At the end of the Inauguration, His Holiness gave a concluding speech saying, "I am happy to be here today for the Inauguration of the Go Green & Go Organic project, that all the people came here to support the project, and to see that there was such a good response and immense joy on the faces of all the people on this project." He added, "Go Green directly deals with global issues such as weather calamities, ecological imbalances, global warming and so forth, which are some of the biggest issues facing us in this highly developed modern world. So Go Green is intended globally, to take care of our world by planting trees for birds, animals, insects, and all living beings on this planet. Go Organic mainly focuses on growing and supplying organic vegetables for all. These days we have many health problems all over the world due to eating chemically produced foods and junk food. Go Organic aims to bring a health consciousness of eating organic food, and natural ways of growing vegetables, as well as to supply healty vegetables to the market at an affordable price. I have brought two trucks of the best organic potatoe seed from Manali. It was distributed to the villagers, and now they are already harvesting and selling it on the market at a lower price. Phyang monastery also grows many vegetables and sells them at a low cost to the people. It has been very successful, most Ven. Rigyal Rinpoche is the project manager of the green house, and now we will extend the green house as much as we can. Some people may wonder, why is this Dharma teacher doing all these earthly works: the reason is that nowadays, when global warming and many other problems are arising and threatening the people and all other living beings, we cannot just stay at the monastery and relax. We should go into society and help the people with what is needed for this 21st century." Holiness said, "from the ages between 29 and 69 I was in the monastery studying the Dharma, and from now on I would like to engage in social work and social service for the remainder of my life. The Mountain Institute also promised to help us with the project, and this coming summer they will come and we will extend our works in Jangthang. Today more than 3000 people came here to help with the project, and we have planted 1000 of the Sea Bucks Thorn tree and others plants. This was really satisfying, and it seems that I received a lot of energy to continue with further projects."
Many distinguish guests and all the people had lunch together with His Holiness at the banks of the river.
On the 29th, His Holiness returned with many difficulties, crossing a high pass 17688 feet above sea level. On the way back Holiness also visited most Ven. Rigyal Rinpoche's house for lunch, were the SECMOL Chairman Mr. Wangchuk and rock art historians Mr. Dawa Tsangspa and Mr. Angchuk also came to talk with Holiness about the creation of artificial glaciers and so forth.
Report by most Ven. Rigyal Rinpoche.