Every year without any incentives, lay monks perform during local festival at Samten Choeling Gomdey in Tsakaling, Mongar.
The lead dancer, locally known as the champoen, Pema, requested the Prime Minister during his visit to the gewog last week, if the government could provide some support to the lay monks.
Pema, 35, explained that gomchens have to practice when everyone else in the village works. “About 20 to 30 gomchens, who have school-going children are involved in the dances,” he said.
He said that the Tsakaling tsechu is important and the cham has religious importance. “Without any incentives, no one is willing to learn the cham.”
Pema asked if the government could provide some incentives or monthly salaries to the dancers.
Tsakaling tshopa, Sonam Lhadon, requested for fund to renovate the Nagtsang Samten Choeling monastery, which has developed cracks.
She also said that local people have to contribute money to pay the electricity bill incurred while conducting religious festivals. She requested the Prime Minister to exempt them from paying the bill.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, while agreeing to look into the possibility of paying salaries to the dancers after discussing with the dzongdag, said exempting people in the locality from paying the electricity bill could encourage misuse of it.
He also said that the government had extended summer vacation for schools so that children could help their parents at home. “We established central school for those who cannot afford to send children to school. The school will provide free uniforms and other necessities.”
For the people of Chali gewog, the Prime Minister said that a farm shop for the gewog would be inaugurated on July 15. “You all should not only buy products but also sell your farm produce and work towards food self-sufficiency.”
At the meeting with the people of Mongar gewog, the prime minister said that he is aware of the water shortage due to the increasing number of households and water sources drying up.
He urged the people to look for water sources. “The government has allocated fund for the construction of water tanks and pipelines.”
Lyonchhen also inspected the vegetable market in the Mongar town and the meat shops.
Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar