Thimphu, Nov 3 (IANS) A religious organisation has been established here in a novel initiative to sustain 43 religious centres, training over 1,000 monks and nuns in different parts of Bhutan.
The Pedling Choeki Gatshel Foundation drew an overwhelming response from its members on the very first night of its launch Thursday, as it raised 2.8 Bhutanese Ngultrum ($52,000) as contributions from them, Kuensel media reported.
According to the ninth Gantey Trulku, Kunzang Rigzin Pema Namgyel, who heads this foundation, children of the economically deprived families usually become monks as they find it beyond their means to attend schools.
"The foundation's fund would go a long way in making these students stand on their own feet," Kuenselonline quoted him as saying.
He believes the rich Buddhist religious culture could be promoted through two ways --imparting knowledge and spreading Buddhism.
The foundation's fund would be used to renovate and construct lhakhangs (temples) in various parts of the country.
While Gantey Trulku will be the permanent chairperson of the foundation, four other board members have been appointed. In future, the four members are to be elected.
The foundation aims to raise a fund of $50 mn.
Monks completing the ninth standard in a shedra, or the place of learning will be given a masters degree certificate in Buddhist studies.