A Health Clinic was also started in 2001 by a young nun, Ani Choden, a relative of Ringu Tulku, and more funds were sent to help her and pay for the doctor. Rinpoche also wanted to encourage a lay school for the local children and sent money to help pay for teachers.
In 2003 a monk from Rigul travelled to India to see Ringu Tulku. He was a newly qualified Khenpo (professor in Tibetan studies), from the Rigul Shedra, and he explained that much of the Shedra had fallen into disrepair. Rinpoche asked him to return to Rigul to build a new Shedra and he would provide the necessary funds. We also learned that the Health Clinic had become a great success and quite famous in the region.
Many people had benefited from the traditional herbal medicines as prepared by Ani Choden and the doctor was very skilled in both Tibetan and Chinese medicine. But the clinic was housed in one room in the doctors residence and needed more space. Rinpoche promised to send enough money to build a small building for the clinic. In 2004 funds were sent to start the construction of the new clinic.
The new clinic is now completed. The building has enough room to store all the medicines and to dry the plants they collect for the traditional Tibetan herbal treatments.
The clinic costs £7.50 per day
Dr Chuga costs £2.50 per day
Dr Chuga’s Assistant costs 30p per day
Free transport is provided to the clinic for the needy and treatments are free.
Patients buy medicines in the summer when it is possible to earn enough to buy them. There is little work in the cold winter months.
The good name of the clinic has spread to neighbouring communities and it is now called upon to treat many more people. The budget has therefore risen from £1,200 per year to £3,500 per year. All of this is wonderful news of course but required continual fundraising.