The second phase of the kidney awareness walk kick starts from Chagzam in Trashigang
l Tashi Wangmo, Thimphu
The Bhutan Kidney Foundation’s (BKF’s) two noble men, Tsheten Dorji and Chimi, who had completed eight dzongkhags walking a distance of 783 kilometers on July 4 this year, kick-started their second leg of awareness walk on September 4 from Chazam in Trashigang.
According to Chimi, they had already completed their awareness walk in Trashiyangtse and Lhuentse dzongkhags as of yesterday and that they were on their way to Pemagatshel. Chimmi said that they are expecting to complete their walk across the whole nation by October 22 this year.
“Gasa dzongkhag will be our last target,” he said, adding that they will be on their way to Gasa by October 22 and start their campaign in the dzongkhag coinciding with the second royal highland festival.
According to Chimmi, they have already collected about Nu 8,06,399 from Trashiyangtse and Lhuentse dzongkhags.
He said that the number of people suffering from kidney problem in the country is alarming and that the foundation still has a lot more to achieve. “We need to make BKF a financially strong organization so that we can help as many people as possible.”
He said that the public are today well aware of the motive of their campaign as it had generated tremendous help and support during the first phase of their walk.
“I feel happy and proud that I am able to contribute, though in small measures, to my country, the BKF and people suffering from kidney complications,” Chimmi added.
Chimi further mentioned that the media had been very helpful as it had played a vital role in informing the people about their initiative. The dzongkhag officials across the country, accompanied by the members of parliaments, local leaders, health and agriculture officials, general public and schools had also joined them and came forward to be a part of this noble initiative.
“So far everything is going according to our plans and aspirations,” he said, adding that apart from gathering financial support from the people, they could also help generate awareness and advocacy programs on the disease.
The gup of Tsengkhar in Lhuntse, Tsheten Wangdi, said that the two men are very capable individuals and lauded their effort in spreading the message of kidney ailments which is becoming a growing health issue in the country.
“The people of Lhuentse were very delighted to have them in our dzongkhag and they turned in hordes to support the initiative,” he said, adding that the amount of support the people rendered was overwhelming.
The gup said that the local leaders of the various gewogs took the lead in collecting the funds and gathering the people. “The feedback from people was very impressive,” he added.
He also said that a majority of the people of his gewog are illiterate and hardly knew anything about the disease. The initiative by these men has helped create awareness among the public and to take extra care of their health.
He further mentioned that in 12th five year plan, Tsengkhar gewog will be focusing on the importance of the health education as one of their primary goals.
Similarly, Tshering Choden, 43, a resident of Lhuentse, said that the initiative taken by these men was really touching as they are doing their part in helping others while sacrificing their own time and energy.
She added that she is now aware of the dangers and causes associated with renal problems and the challenges faced by the government and the patients who are suffering from this problem.
“This type of advocacy program is very necessary to inform illiterate persons like me,” she said, adding that many people in her village does not know the importance of taking care of their health while having to slog every day in the fields to earn their livelihood.
She also said that such kind of awareness campaigns should be encouraged and people should come forward to help those who initiate similar programs.
A few residents of Lhuntse, the Journalist talked to, said that the people are very much willing to come forward and support such initiatives as it had a very noble objective—helping those grappled by kidney diseases and giving them a new lease of life through medical treatment.