By Gayum Dema & Rinchen Phuntsho
A youth group, Nazhoen Jangsem Tshogpa (NJT), has become a synonym for love and compassion in the country as they continue to propagate the message of compassion and solidarity through their altruistic acts.
The youth group was formed in 2019 by a handful of young enthusiasts who all shared a common interest – advocating the message of love and compassion.
“It is not about what we get back, instead it’s all about self-satisfaction and way to make changes as a responsible youth of Bhutan,” said Tenzin Chophel, 21, the president of Nazhoen Jangsem Tshogpa.
He said the group focuses on engaging youth in various fields like dancing, singing, acting and many more. The youth group also contributes in enhancing and promotion of Gross National Happiness through strictly adhering to Dzongkha as their medium of communication and writing.
The group initially kicked off on February 2019 with 17 active youth-members including the president himself. NJT aims to encourage volunteerism amongst young people and also inculcate in them the spirit of love and compassion for other fellow beings.
Today, the group has morphed into a 47-member strong team and is one of the most active groups in the country known for their social service and volunteer works.
Of the many charitable works the group has initiated till date, they were also instrumental in constructing numerous stupas (chortens) in Phuentsholing and Gelephu.
Their long list of volunteer services also stretches across religious and spiritual fields. The group has contributed to the construction and renovation of religious sites including Wangduetse Lhankhan in Thimphu.
In addition, they are also an integral part in Kagyu Moenlams conducted at Bodhgaya, India and in the production of Tsa Tsa and Rigsum Goenpo statues for different religious purposes.
Besides religious contributions, NJT’s voluntary works also embraces various initiatives like contributing clothes to the needy, especially kidu patients and children of labourers. The group had also been instrumental in helping young talents in production of music videos and give impetus to their dreams and interests.
To tackle with the current Covid-19 situation the country, Nazhoen Jangsem Tshogpa has produced a creative video to help disseminate and create awareness among people.
However, despite all the joy and accolades the group is faced with a host of challenges including not having enough money to finance their projects and initiatives.
Tenzin Chophel said the group members, including him, mostly comprise of students who are financially incapable of roping in money to see their projects through.
They say one of the biggest stumbling blocks to achieving their full potential was the lack of capital to fund their works and activities. However, they conduct regular shows to collect some much-desired funds.
Nonetheless, members said raising funds through reality shows and other functions have become a huge challenge for them as most of the members are spread across the country, and studying in different schools.
Buoyed by the prospects of making some funds, Tenzin said that the group has also initiated a Sangay Moenlha project whereby the team is installing Sangay Menlha statues (the Medicine Buddha) in different schools.
Till date, the group has installed six statues in six different schools and members say, the list of school goes on.
“A small contribution from our well-wishers and fellow citizens will make a huge difference,” Tenzin said, adding that young people are the solution for tomorrow and the ultimate answer to all our unfound worries.
Despite all the glitches and hiccups, Tenzin is determined to lead this group and continue spreading the message of love, compassion and solidarity, and also inspire youth of his age to be the change in the society in their own little ways.