His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa (www.drukpa.org) is a world-renowned humanitarian, author, environment A-list and champion of gender equality. Recipient of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Award and India’s Green Hero Award for his work in sustainable development, the Gyalwang Drukpa is recognized as the preeminent voice for modern issues that are now facing the Himalayas. The Gyalwang Drukpa is head of the Buddhist Drukpa Lineage, originating from the scholar-saint Naropa who founded Indian Buddhism over a thousand years ago.
Drukpa Buddhism is steeped in celebrating diversity and active community service, with over 27 million followers worldwide. Notable initiatives started by the Gyalwang Drukpa included breaking the Guinness World Record for tree-planting, the annual “Eco-Pad Yatra” for environmental education, the women’s “Kung Fu Nuns” movement that was featured in Time Magazine, the first Himalayan large-scale dog rescue sanctuary, cross border clean water programs, several medical aid projects, and the award-winning Druk Pema Karpo School in Ladakh. Designed to preserve indigenous culture while empowering communities with modern skills, the school was featured in the PBS E^2 Series, and is the location of the utopic school seen in the blockbuster film, “3 idiots”.
Students and professionals visit the school from around the world to study its unique mission and design – a model for numerous enterprises now in development.
The Gyalwang Drukpa also initiated the Live to Love movement (www.livetolove.org), a secular philosophy that encourages communities to use kindness and wisdom to heal the modern world’s challenges, and to celebrate diversity of faiths, cultures and sexual orientation. Live to Love international is the resulting global network of non-profit organizations focused on those goals, pioneering multiple local and cross-border projects throughout the Himalayas and beyond. These works affect the larger culture of the Himalayan community, and help improve the quality of life for 1.3 billion people throughout the region.