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26March2017

Buddhist Monks On Walkathon For Environment

A coverage by Kripa Krishnan, PTI. Click here to read news at source.

Manali, May 28 (PTI) Dressed in their deep red robes, monks and nuns of a 800-year-old Buddhist sect have begun a marathon padyatra to propagate environmental conservation and spread awareness about the indiscriminate use of plastics and motor vehicles.

Led by their spiritual leader the Gyalwang Drukpa, 600 monks would travel across the snow-clad Himalayas in a month long 'padyatra' that will culminate in the Hemis Festival in Ladakh later next month.

"The yatra is a way of embracing the 'walking life', which is beautiful and stress free. Why should we quit walking for cars and helicopters, when they cause so much damage to nature," the Gyalwang Drukpa told reporters here before commencing the journey on May 25.

The 'walkathon' is expected to gather more volunteers and fellow Drukpas along the 400-km stretch.

The Drukpa leader says he is expecting upto 1000 followers to join him en route the journey where they would talk to villagers about the environment and also distribute pamphlets and canvas bags.

"We want to spread the message of environmental protection and are not marching for Buddhism. The aim is to interact with people living in the remotest corners of the Himalayas and get to know nature more intimately," the spiritual leader said.