United Nations Association (New York) Lauds Gyalwang Drukpa’s Contribution to Environment and Ecology Preservation
NEW DELHI, October 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa has just returned from a very fruitful visit to New
York at the behest of the United Nations. His Holiness had gone to New York at the
invitation of the UN to attend and speak at the Women Leaders’ Forum and the UN General
Assembly. During the visit, a gala evening was organised by the United Nations Association
of New York (UNANY) to honour His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, spiritual Head of Drukpa
Buddhists, and founder of the humanitarian organisation Live to Love. His Holiness the
Gyalwang Drukpa is a recipient of UN’s Millennium Development Goals Award for his
humanitarian and environmental work.
At the event in New York, UNANY premiered the screening of PAD YATRA: A Green Odyssey
along with Live to Love International. The film centres on the Drukpa and his globally
renowned Pad Yatra. As a much-beloved spiritual guide for many, the Drukpa is inspired by
his own compassion for people as much as his love of the natural world. Recognizing that
many of these current disastrous ecological events have been caused by a long influence of
human activity centred on economic conquest, greed and relentless consumption, he
advocates a gentle and highly grounded approach to making a difference in the world. In
this case, what could be gentler than walking a pilgrimage?
UNANY President Paula Rice Jackson, talking about the evening and the Pad Yatra film,
said, “The film is an amazing piece of work. It is a spiritual film, an eco-centred
film… about faith and determination, and about wanting to do the right thing – a big
policy with us at the United Nations Association of New York.” The UNANY story on this
event, His Holiness and the film may be accessed at
Photographs of the event may be accessed at
In August 2010, a series of cloudbursts triggered torrential rain, mudslides, flash
floods and debris flows, inundating local areas in Ladakh, causing tremendous damage very
quickly, and traumatic experiences for the local inhabitants. “The impact of the rain
alone caused skin to break and bruise,” says Darryl Hannah in her narration during the
film Pad Yatra, clearly transmitting the degree of impact experienced. His Holiness the
Gyalwang Drukpa, a revered spiritual leader in the region, soon arrived to survey the
outcome of this event, offering on-the-ground support and aid, as well as spiritual
relief, to survivors.
Although the Pad Yatra adventure shown in the film took place the year before the
catastrophic events in Ladakh, it was clearly meant to signal a newly inspired response to
such events and their prevention. Several regions have now banned plastic products, and
filtered water has become a popular new enterprise to eliminate the demand for plastic
His Holiness invited the inspired among the audience to join the upcoming pad yatra to
Sri Lanka, while illuminating its fundamental importance for a participant: to forge a
deeper connection to the natural world which we have largely ignored, to get a sense of
“understanding of how important are the mountains, trees and waters – for the world, and
especially for the individual… all these beauties which we have ignored.” Details of the
Sri Lanka Pad Yatra are available at http://walking.drukpa.com
“Although there were many Buddhist monks and nuns on the pad yatra, the values of the
Pad Yatra are universal: to have a simple life and responsibilities, and to be helpful.
These are values we learn from parents or teachers at a young age, we just need to return
to them… to return to our beginner’s mind, to what we already know,” the Drukpa said.
“We can do that through simple actions, it doesn’t have to be complicated… using
reusable bags when shopping, drinking tap water instead of bottled water… you can even
do your own little pad yatra, picking up some garbage on your way home from work.”
Traversing hundreds of miles on foot, sometimes at altitudes above 17,000 feet, the
participants educated many locals on ecological responsibility while passing through
villages, as well as collecting plastic litter and removing tons of polluting material
from drinking sources.
During his current visit to New York, while attending some of the current UN General
Assembly sessions, he also addressed the Women Leaders Forum. “We all have to join
together to help eliminate fear, especially among women; not only women, but children and
everyone who is affected by fear. This is because everyone deserves to be fearless and
fearlessness is a part of our primordial nature,” he said.
About Live to Love
Live to Love is an international network of non-profit organizations, founded by His
Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa to create and to support lasting solutions to modern
problems. The organization focuses on education, environmental protection, medical
services and cultural preservation.
Live to Love’s impacts the following regions: Bhutan, France, Germany, Hong Kong,
India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan,
Vietnam, UK, and USA.
Through the work of the United Nations Association of New York and the over 175
community-based chapters around the country, UNA-USA creates a powerful national
constituency for a United Nations that advances American interests in a global system. UNA
offers each and every American the opportunity to connect with the critical issues
confronted by the U.N. – from global health and human rights, to the spread of democracy,
equitable sustainable development and international justice. UNA educates Americans about
the work of the United Nations, and builds public support for more effective U.S.
engagement in the U.N.
For Further Information, Please Contact
Shreeya Roy, Live to Love, +91-9350335761, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Live to Love Foundation