New Delhi, 14 Nov: In a significant step towards cultural preservation and community development, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang convened an interactive session with Lepcha Bongthings set to commence on a spiritual journey to Nepal. The rendezvous took place today at Samman Bhawan, where the Chief Minister addressed the enthusiastic gathering.
Central to Lepha culture are the Mun and Bongthing, traditional healers who have essential roles in Lepcha society. Bongthing are expert healers who undergo rigorous training and practice. They play a pivotal role in various aspects of life, from sickness and childbirth to harvests and spiritual ceremonies, ensuring the balance of the eco-system.
As announced during the Tendong Lho Rum Faat celebrations in the State earlier this year, Chief Minister shared that the State Government is proudly sponsoring the Lepcha Bongthings to a pilgrimage tour to Nepal. The inaugural contingent comprises seventeen Bongthings from all six districts, accompanied by four assistants, five guides, and twelve students from various colleges. Their pilgrimage will encompass sacred sites in Pokhara, Kathmandu, and Halesi.
Expressing his commitment to the upliftment of the Lepcha tribe, the Chief Minister assured financial support to the members of the first contingent. He declared the pilgrimage tour as an annual event, aimed at fostering cultural connections and spiritual growth within the community.
Highlighting the government’s initiatives, the Chief Minister shared plans for the construction of Lepcha Bhawan at Lumsey, stressing the State’s ongoing efforts to empower various ethnic communities.
Further, he informed the gathering that the State Government has formally approached the Central government to advocate for the inclusion of Lepcha, Limboo, and Bhutia languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, securing official recognition. He affirmed the progress of this initiative, with language scholars actively engaged in the process.
During the programme, the Chief Minister expressed gratitude to the Renjyong Mutanchi Rong Tarzum, Sikkim Lepcha Association for generously donating Rs. 2 lakhs towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.