In the pristine landscape of Bhutan, 12-year-old Rehras Singh Kukreja embarks on a significant cleanup mission on the Tiger’s Nest trail As a student of St. George’s College, Mussoorie, Rehras combines his Sikh values with a deep respect for the environment in a heartfelt act of Seva (selfless service).
Hosted by Tourism Bhutan and guided by Tshewang Nidup, a veteran in Bhutan’s travel industry, Rehras’ journey transcends tourism; it’s a spiritual quest honoring the sacredness of nature. Equipped with gloves and a bag, he meticulously removes litter from the trail, each action symbolizing his commitment to environmental stewardship.
“Rehras’ efforts in preserving Bhutan’s natural beauty align with the teachings of Guru Rimpoche,” comments Tshewang Nidup. “His work exemplifies the vital role the younger generation plays in creating a sustainable future.” Reflecting on his experience, Rehras shares, “This journey has profoundly touched me. Preserving the land’s beauty is akin to honoring Guru Nanak and Buddha.” Rehras’ story mirrors Bhutan’s environmental ethos. The nation is celebrated for its commitment to being carbon-negative and maintaining over 60% forest cover, as mandated by its constitution. His actions resonate with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land, highlighting the importance of individual contributions to global sustainability.
In shaping his environmental consciousness, Rehras is thankful for the guidance and motivation from his school and educators. Principal Rev. Bro. Ramesh Amalanathan, Brother Superior Rev. Bro. P.U. George, Vice Principal Rev. Bro. Shaju Thomas, and his class teacher Mrs. Sunita Jakhmola have been pivotal. Miss Mansi Dhunna, Miss Veronica Menezes, Mr. Bhavnesh Negi, Miss Mariana Lawrence, and Mrs. Susan Kurien, who also taught Rehras’ father, Harjinder Singh Kukreja 25 years ago, have played instrumental roles in nurturing his sense of environmental stewardship.
As he plans future environmental initiatives, Rehras’ story offers hope and inspiration amidst global environmental challenges. His commitment highlights the impact of young individuals on environmental health and reflects Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness ethos, blending personal conviction with national values in environmental and cultural preservation.