STATE TIMES NEWS
LEH: World Heritage Day was observed by the Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) in collaboration with the Community of Tukla Village, Changthang.HCHF has been celebrating this day every year since 2010.Keeping up with the theme of World Heritage Day 2021 i.e. Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures, HCHF initiated a Stupa Restoration Project, under which the organization aims to restore ten stupas across Ladakh till October 2021.Thupstan Chhewang (President, Ladakh Buddhist Association) attended the event as the Chief Guest on the occasion. Khamtak Rinpoche Jigme Nawang Namgyal blessed the day with his presence. Also, Ven. Shatup Chamba (President, Ladakh Gompa Association), and Thinles Nurboo (Counsellor, LAHDC Leh) were present.The day began with the Deconsecration Ceremony of the Kagan Chorten, an ancient Stupa that once marked the entrance to Tukla Village.The stupa has been in a depleting condition and requires urgent attention. HCHF and the village community of Tukla Village decided to observe this World Heritage Day with the restoration of this ancient Stupa.Dr Sonam Wangchok (Founder/Secretary HCHF) stressed upon the importance of Heritage education and conducting awareness programmes to educate the people, especially the youth for different values of culture and heritage.He also emphasized on local communities taking up the responsibility and actively participating in conservation and preservation of the Heritage and Culture of their region.He appreciated the community members of Tukla Village for having shown interest in their local heritage and joining hands in making this significant celebration possible.“For various reasons, most of the stupa in the villages of Ladakh built by the ancestors are deteriorating and are in various stages of preservation. Some of them may still be in good condition, but a good number of them have well past the stage of recovery and rehabilitation. According to our observation, one of the main reasons of damage to stupas is lack of knowledge on the part of local people, about the possibilities of conservation. Time factor and climate change are some other reasons for deterioration of stupas in Ladakh”, said Dr. Sonam Wangchok.Thupstan Chhewang (President, Ladakh Buddhist Association) focused on the importance of village communities to realize the importance of culture, heritage, language and the traditional way of agricultural activities for sustainable development. Thinles Nurboo brought forward an important point that learning about culture and heritage should start from home. Parents should educate their children by telling stories about their forefathers and make them feel proud of their family legacy, he said adding that . this would automatically make them value their local heritage.Among the various views, Ven. Shatup Chamba (President, Ladakh Gompa Association) threw light on how Ladakh is a land of rich heritage where monastic communities and village communities work closely in preserving them for future generations. Village Community of Tukla Village is one such example.While appreciating HCHF, especially Dr. Sonam Wangchok, Khamtak Rinpoche, highlighted the importance of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage and their preservation.Rinpoche has assured to work closely with HCHF to restore old monuments, especially in the Changthang Rong area.
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