A member of the Bhutan Kidney Foundation (BKF), Tsheten Dorji, and volunteer Chimi began a walk from Samdrupjongkhar to cover eight dzongkhags to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen yesterday.

The Lam Neten and monks from Samdrupjongkhar dratshang, officials of BKF and the residents accompanied the duo until the main gate. The walk’s objective is to help the foundation promote its objective of promoting an active lifestyle, and advocate on the importance of maintaining one’s health while embedding key messages on kidney health and its issues in Bhutan.

Tsheten Dorji, 43, a former tour guide said he watched a documentary a couple of years ago about a girl who had a kidney problem and was left without any support. “From that day, I thought of initiating this kind of walk to support in raising fund and to give awareness on kidney related diseases with the help from BKF,” he said.

His companion Chimi, 49 said the fourth month of the lunar calendar is considered auspicious. “It’s fortunate that the BKF organised the walk on this auspicious month and during the walk, Tsheten Dorji will give awareness on kidney diseases and its related issues, while I will talk on Buddhism,” he said.

“We are also going to raise funds for the BKF and we request the public to come forward and make donations because even Nu 1 is also very helpful to the BKF.”

BKF’s programme officer, Karma Tobgay said members and volunteers contributed significantly to the foundation’s endeavour. “Today’s awareness walk is another support we are receiving from BKF’s registered members and we are extremely delighted that we could commence it by celebrating the Birth Anniversary of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen,” he said.

He said the awareness walk, which ends in Thimphu would be a milestone for the foundation in educating people on kidney health, disease and issues in Bhutan. Tsheten Dorji and Chimi are going to halt their night at Arong.

In Thimphu, the board and the management of BKF, along with dialysis patients, kidney transplant recipients and donors, families, attendants, health personnel and members of BKF lit butter lamps and offered prayers for Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen’s good health and long life at the Buddha Dordenma in Kuenselphodrang.

A lucky draw was also held for those contributed towards the foundation’s 1-Ngultrum initiative. Since the initiative began in July 2016, a total of Nu 109, 000 has been collected in one ngultrum denomination.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar