In a historic and heartwarming move, His Holiness the Je Khenpo has unveiled a pension scheme that promises to transform the lives of monks and nuns across Bhutan.
With a seed fund of Nu 10 million, this initiative reflects not only a compassionate and forward-thinking leadership, but also a significant step towards the modernisation of the Dratshang Lhentshog.
This visionary scheme will provide a monthly social security deposit of Nu 7,360 to monks and nuns upon reaching the age of 65, provided they have a minimum track record of 10 years of dedicated service in their respective monastic institutions.
The introduction of the pension scheme is a testament to the Je Khenpo’s unwavering commitment to the welfare and prosperity of Bhutan’s monastic community. It symbolises a progressive approach to governance, acknowledging that times have changed, and it is imperative for institutions, even the sacred ones, to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of their members.
The modernisation of the Dratshang Lhentshog is a thoughtful and timely process that deserves recognition and support. Bhutan’s monastic institutions have played a pivotal role in the preservation of culture, tradition, and spirituality for centuries.
However, in an era of rapid global change, it is essential that these institutions are not left behind, in all manner of accountability and transparency.
First and foremost, the pension scheme recognises the valuable contributions of monks and nuns to society. Many individuals in the monastic community dedicate their entire lives to spiritual practice and selfless service. Yet, in the absence of a social security net, they often face uncertainty and financial hardship in their later years.
The pension scheme provides a sense of security and dignity to these dedicated individuals who have devoted their lives to the betterment of society.
Furthermore, this scheme promotes long-term commitment to the monastic path. By setting a minimum service requirement of 10 years, it encourages young monks and nuns to remain devoted to their calling, ensuring the continuity of spiritual traditions. This not only benefits the individuals but also contributes to the preservation of Bhutan’s unique cultural heritage.
In addition to safeguarding the well-being of monks and nuns, the pension scheme serves as a model of social responsibility and inclusivity.
The initiative opens the door to further improvements within the Zhung Dratshang.
It is a reminder that evolution is a natural and necessary part of any institution’s growth. The Dratshang Lhentshog must adapt to the changing needs of its members and the broader society to remain relevant and effective.