To mark the 43rd birthday of His Majesty the King, 43 members of the Chithuen Phendhey Association went from the Paro Kyidchhu Lhakhang till Taktshang doing Changchag or prostration. The two-day programme which began yesterday, ended today with a Tshogkor and thousand-butter lamp offering.
38 men and five women, mostly recovering persons with alcohol and substance use disorder, chanted Chamdro as they prostrated along the Paro-Drugyel highway towards Taktshang.
42-year-old Rinchen Norbu from Pema Gatshel works for a firm in Thimphu and has been sober for three years. Through Chithuen Phenday Association’s rehabilitation programme, Rinchen could defeat his longing for alcohol.
He said through such engagement programmes, being able to meet his peers on such occasions reminds him of the right decision he took to stop alcohol. He pays gratitude to His Majesty the King, who is the Royal Patron of Chithuen Phendhey Association. “We consider the first month of Bhutanese calendar as a sacred month and it also His Majesty’s birthday. This is a very special day for me. Moreover, we get to exercise and keep ourselves fit and accumulate merit at the same time. I am happy that I am able to take part in this programme and will continue to do so in the future.”
Similarly,Yeshi Wangdi who is a member of the Chithuen Phendhey Association also shared his delight for being able to take part in the event. “I am happy that I am getting an opportunity to celebrate His Majesty’s birthday with my recovering friends. Firstly, it benefits our health and second, it helps us stay away from alcohol and other substances. And, finally, we are able to pray for the the well-being of all sentient beings.”
This is an annual event on the Chithuen Phendhey’s calendar.
Dawa Penjor, the programme officer of the association says there couldn’t be any better day to express their gratitude to His Majesty the King. “Firstly, our King is the Royal Patron of the Chithuen Phendhey Association. Secondly, our members are all from humble backgrounds and sought help from the Chithuen Phendhey Association. It was fortunate that we were able to help them overcome any form of addictions, so it’s one way to be grateful and express gratitude for the second chance in life.”
Meanwhile, the Chithuen Phendhey Association is also advocating on the harmful effects of alcohol and substance abuse and how to stay away from it.
Namgay Wangchuk, Paro
Edited by Sherub Dorji