Sey Rinpoche
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Eco-friendly Socio-Economical Development

Pangi Landscape

Pangi is, geographically speaking, a quite vast region is the high Indian Himalayas.
It is a very remote area: the bumpy “road” to there is less than 20 years old, and many parts, of course, have no road at all. Pangi is thus a tremendously isolated and materially backward region. Snowfalls in winter are very heavy, up to 4 or 5 meters of snow, leading to great isolation and difficulties of all sorts. According to Sey Rinpoche, Pangi people are much poorer than Ladakhi, Lahouli and even the Zanskari people (who are though also known for suffering from tremendous remoteness). Governmental help never reaches some places of Pangi.

In one way, this isolation has lead to a much protected situation, especially in terms of exceptional wildlife, such as big forests, snow leopards, musk deer, etc. (Pangi is not as dry as Zanskar or Ladakh. Fauna and flora are amazing there). Also, according to Sey Rinpoche, Pangi people are also “culturally preserved” - for example their devotion to the lineage is genuine, and they very enthusiastically follow a gentle and spiritual style of living.

But modern times are heavily threatening in many ways and therefore, the local people, especially the Buddhist community, have created the Pangi Buddhist Drukpa Association in 2005 and requested His Eminence Sey Rinpoche, -their spiritual guide- to assist them, not only in their religious life, but also to help them build a future based on spiritual principles, implying respect and protection of wildlife, sustainable socio-economical development, etc. An overall program of such a sustainable and creative development could be now designed for Pangi, comprising many sub-projects in different fields, such as the following.

 

Preservation and promotion of wildlife and natural environment

What has been done

So far, Sey Rinpoche and the local community have been able to successfully stop 100% wildlife hunting, including snow leopard and wild deer. This is a wonderful sign of the willingness of people to apply guidelines and live in harmony with nature, since this ban represents quite a lack of income for them.

Sey Rinpoche has also been able to completely prevent the use of chemicals in agriculture, thus saving soils and water from contamination.
The Buddhist people of Pangi valleys are following his advices very enthusiastically, and some Hindu villages are also happily paying heed.

Snow leopard is one of the endangered species requiring special attention in Pangi, where the local communities start to understant that it is their precious heritage from mother Nature....
Snow leopard is one of the endangered species requiring special attention in Pangi, where the local communities start to understant that it is their precious heritage from mother Nature....
 

What could be done next

- Wildlife surveys and protection

The Pangi Drukpa Association would like to welcome wildlife expert(s) in Pangi for a first survey of the value and preciousness of the local flora and fauna, so that the Pangi people can get official and clarifying confirmation of the quality of environment and also get basic guidelines for the planning and development of economical activities in a way that would not harm nature. Based on this first survey, Pangi Association will not only have a clearer idea of their own natural legacy, but might be able to get further assistance from experts, professionals, governmental organization, NGO etc. to help them conceive and implement eco-friendly development programs and projects if the international value of their environment is officially confirmed..

Later, more specific surveys would help

  1. in the definition of relevant land use regulations and other advices and rules, defined in dialogue with the local communities.
  2. Regular checking of the appropriateness of the measure and activities undertaken
  3. provide detailed knowledge and appreciation of Pangi natural wealth.

- Nature promotion

This means activities such as local people education in the environmental field, as well as promoting eco-tourism activities, etc.

 

Pangi agricultural development and promotion

Traditionnal organic agriculture in Pangi
Traditionnal organic agriculture in Pangi

The agricultural production of Pangi is of a very high quality. It is fully organic and traditional, and the quality and purity of the soil, the water and the air provides optimal conditions for the grains, fruits and vegetable and dairy products to be healthy and deliciously nutritious. Yes, a lot can be done to help the farmers to organize themselves and promote and market their products in an improved way. Also, some innovations could be brought, such as the production of commercial cheeses, or the production of medicinal herbs, etc. Any financial or technical assistance is most welcome in this field.

 

Pangi educational development

Children in Pangi in need of educational supportOne of the key of Pangi future lies in the children and the youth. They should not only find a way to receive appropriate education, but after graduating, they should be able and willing to come back to Pangi and benefit their own region. A lot could be done to plan, develop and coordinate the education of Pangi children.

For the time being, a few girls have been sponsored, through His Eminence’s brother, Jampel, to receive education outside Pangi in the Kullu valley. Sey Rinpoche would also like to get support to send a few children from Pangi to the Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, which is not only a Buddhist school, but also a Drukpa institution promoting High Himalayan culture beside modern education. This would really somehow guarantee that the future of Pangi in the the Pangi’s people hand and suits the Pangi’s features in a long lasting way. In the future, much more could be done in Pangi itself for the children. Any financial or technical assistance is most welcome in this field.

The educational development could also include adults education, in the field of promoting and updating of eco-friendly techniques in organic agriculture, wildlife protection, eco-friendly tourism activities, etc. Moreover, a lot could be done also to help Pangi people know better, appreciate and preserve their own legacy in terms of culture and spirituality. The Killar Institute is a project of Sey Rinpoche which could play a key role in the future in that matter.

 

Other fields of development

Promoting wildlife, agriculture and education are very basic steps to be undertaken as a first step. Another emergency action to be implemented in Pangi is to provide the region with some medical facilities.

Yet, in the future, many more projects could be developed to improve Pangi life’s conditions, allowing the local communities to live a less difficult life while still enjoying the unique beauty of their country, landscape and cultural heritage. For example, the implementation of some micro hydro-electrical units would definitively improve the life of the people. If implemented successfully, it could even become a source of income for Pangi.

According to Sey Rinpoche, there is a great future possibility for Pangi, with a great potential for these valleys to be a source of inspiration for anyone in touch with them, in terms of preserved nature and preserved spirituality, culture and quality of life. The Pangi Drukpa Association would happily welcome any financial and/or technical assistance of any sort for the development of such a vision to take place.

 

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Sey Rinpoche