The earthquake of 25th April 2015 destroyed Pema Choling Monastery in Gumela. The monastery is the center for all the Sherpas between Surke below Lukla and Jorsalle below Namche for all kinds of ritual ceremonies they practice. It is also used by all Sherpas of the region as a community hall for all kind of meetings and functions organized by youths and all other different groups of people. The elderly people also make use of this monastery as a learning center to learn languages and culture. The youth group uses the monastery to practice the Sherpa culture like Sherpa songs and dances here. The Sherpa people practice their ritual ceremonies in monastery regularly as they strongly believe in Buddhism. Many monks live in the monastery and practice their prayers every day.
Due to the devastating damages of the monastery by the earthquake, the local Sherpas sufferedgreatly and were frustrated as they lost their center for the religious believe. The Sherpas of the region forgot the loss of their homes as they were more concerned in losing the monastery.We felt the sentiment of the locals and paid more attention in the reconstruction of the PemaCholing Monastery in Gumela. When we tried to reach the local youth and the monastery management committee regarding the reconstruction of the monastery, they were very pleased and eager to join us and strongly requested us to rebuild the monastery. I, as the chairman of the Himalayan Sherpa Foundation, assured them to rebuild the monastery by telling them that I will work out to raise the fund to rebuild the monastery ahead. I have started working on getting the funds with the estimate cost of about $150,000 to rebuild the monastery and to raise this amount, many of the local Sherpas have contributed their support specially by the Sherpas living in the USA.
I did ask the locals and the people who are more active in the development of the monastery to form a voluntarily working construction committee which they immediately formed under the leadership of Mr. Nu Thile Sherpa. The name of the construction committee is as below:
1. Mr. Nu Thile Sherpa – Chairman from Ghat
2. Mrs. Ang Mendo Sherpa – Vice chairman from Benkar
3. Mr. Funuru Sherpa – Secretary from Nombuwateng
4. Mr. Nawang Dorjee Lama – Vice secretary from Gumba
5. Mr. Nuru Zangbu Sherpa – Treasurer from Thulo Gumela
6. Mr. Pemba Tamang – Member from Benkar
7. Mr. Mingma Tseri Sherpa – Member from Ghat
8. Mr. AngGara Sherpa – Member from Sano Gumela
9. Mr. Tsering Tendi Sherpa – Member from Chusarma
The reconstruction of the monastery started on October 10th, 2015 and plans to conclude the total finishing of the monastery by September 10th, 2016.
After formation of the construction committee, I have given the committee about $20,000 raised under my request within the small group of friends in Kathmandu immediately. Likewise, I have tried other several means to get more donations which were also possible later on. Our friends living in the USA (Mr. AngGyaljen Sherpa and Mr. Pemba Tenzing Sherpa) have also raised funds there and sent it to the construction committee which was in quite a good amount from each of them. Later the construction committee was also able to raise the donation from the villagers. At the end, Mrs. Wang Jing of China, the International Chairperson and Founder of Everest Foundation has donated about $30,000 and this amount helped the construction committee a lot for the finishing part of the monastery. I am still trying to find some other sources to finish the reconstruction of the monastery properly to give the final proper shape of the monastery.
There is a week long festival known as “Dumjee” that takes place once a year in this monastery, which starts from July 10th to 18th for the year 2016, and the construction committee is working hard to complete the reconstruction of the monastery in order to organize this festival in the monastery. The people from the entire village area attend this festival as this is one of the main festivals of the monastery and also for the people of this area. The Incarnate Lama ‘Natrul Rimpoche’ chairs this important festival and blesses all the locals in this special occasion of Dumjee festival. The local Sherpa people take pride in taking the blessings from Natrul Rimpoche.