It was indeed a happy get-together. Bhutanese came by the thousands. Not only in Thimphu, but also in all the 20 dzongkhags, to take part in planting trees in dedication to His Royal Highness The Gyalsey.

Bhutanese men and women, young and old, servicemen and tourists observed the historic event organized by the Tendrel Initiatives. Within minutes, 108,000 saplings were planted, watered, manured and owned in 1,000 villages, 250 gewogs and 20 dzongkhags.

It was not an attempt to set a record, but it was a record in many ways. Bhutan is richer by 108,000 tree saplings. They should grow up together with the thousands of children, (students) who participated in the event, to become strong trees and stand as symbols of the people’s love to The Gyalsey.

It was a record of volunteerism that is picking up fast in the country. It is not quite often that Bhutanese come out in the thousands for one single event, except perhaps during celebrations and tshechus.

The mass plantation dedicated to the well-being of The Gyalsey and the country was a tendrel noble. The unexpected rain on Saturday prepared the ground to welcome the initiative. It brought along moisture and relief to the organizers who were worried about the survival of the saplings.

The spirit was high and mood celebratory. It was significant of the bond among the Bhutanese people and between the people and the Kings. His Royal Highness was born under special circumstances, and moments like yesterday’s are indication of good things to come in the future.

It is was a deeply moving way to welcome The Gyalsey with unity, bond and love among the people. This will always be a special moment that the Bhutan will forever remember with sincere joy.

Environmentally too, the event was significant in that we add some number to our already rich forest coverage. The Bhutanese, guided by the wisdom of the great leaders at the helm, have a concern for our natural wealth. We have shown it through our conservation efforts.

Such initiatives should not stop with one event. Through such events, we inculcate valuable lessons in our children. We should lead by example and not forget one basic priority – to maintain our pristine environment and culture that we inherited from our great forebears.

A volunteer asked a relevant question: Why did we not take such initiatives before? It is not that we have not done it before. It is no exaggeration to say we have more forest coverage today than in the past. Only the way we did it was different.

But the question has some real depth. Likely there will be no occasion like again. But we have the love for nature. We should do this quite often.