The pledge, however, says support will be for all community lhakhangs

Tashi Dema

The home ministry is waiting for dzongkhags to submit a list of lhakhangs, one lhakhang from a gewog, which needs support from the government to conduct rituals and festivals to sustain age-old traditions.

The home ministry after receiving a tentative list of lhakhangs from six dzongkhags that need government support, the ministry  asked the dzongkhags to prioritise a lhakhang from a gewog.

This was revealed yesterday during the ‘question hour’ when Home Minister Sherub Gyeltshen responded to Nanong-Shumar’s member of parliament’s query on when the government would provide caretakers to the community temples

Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen said that the government’s pledge was not to provide caretakers to all lhakhangs, as there are more than 2,000 lhakhangs, but to provide seed money to conduct rituals and festivals to lhakhangs that are in dire need. “We also pledged to provide emoluments in deserving lhakhangs.”

He said that when the ministry asked dzongkhags to submit them the list of lhakhangs that need support, there were 256 lhakhangs from six dzongkhags only.

“We then asked the dzongkhag to submit a lhakhang from each gewog after discussing in gewog tshogde and gewog tshogdu,” Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen said.

He said they received response only from Wangduephodrang dzongkhag. “Other dzongkhags didn’t submit the list.”

According to the minister, the global pandemic also affected the administrative fund and they had to prioritise the budget. “But the ministry would conduct a virtual meeting with dzongkhag and gewog officials and get the final list.”

He also emphasized on the need for farmers to sustain on their own.

The  government’s pledge, however, stated that they would provide adequate funds to all community-managed lhakhangs to conduct traditional festivals on a regular basis without having to worry about funds.