Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

More than 120 residents of Samdrupjongkhar have participated in the two-month health walk so far.

The health walk, which started on October 19, will end on December 19.

The walk is being organised by the dzongkhag multi-sectoral task force (MSTF) and community-based social service (CBSS) in collaboration with respect, educate, nurture and empower women (RENEW).

The theme for the walk is to prevent communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCD) and lead a healthy and happy life by keeping diabetes, hypertension and other NCDs at bay.

The MSTF’s secretary and the focal person of CBSS, Chang Chung, said that people gained about four to  five kilograms and developed mental stresses during the lockdown.

He said the objective of the walk was to help people refresh, relax and relieve and also to overcome the mental stresses. Walking, he said, helped burn calories, lower the blood sugar, ease the joint pains and boost immune function, among others.

“The programme is also aimed at cutting down on the free health service-related expenditure because the government spends about Nu 5B annually,” Chang Chung said.

He said that the people were able to walk about eight kilometres starting from 5am to 7am and from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.

“The programme is being organised following the Covid-19 preventive measures by wearing a mask, maintaining a distance of two to three metres and not more than two persons are allowed to walk in the group, for example,” Chang Chung said.

He said that monitoring and record-keeping was also done to evaluate the consistency of the walk. Competent technical committee, he said, would conduct the ad-hoc inspection six times a month—three times in the morning and three in the evening.

“The committee would also measure the weight of the participants and ask questions related to the communicable and non-communicable diseases,” Chang Chung said.

He said that best walkers would be selected and awarded prizes based on the walk record maintained by the committee. There will be 15 consolation prizes.

Tshewang, 35, said he had been going for walks for more than three years. “The programmes such as happy, healthy walk would motivate and encourage people to go for a walk and lead a happy life,” he said.