The Himalayas of our country is the treasure house of various medicinal herbs, the source of various cultures and homes for various communities. Considering the rich bio-diversity of the Himalayan region particularly in medicinal herbs an increased need is felt to preserve medicinal plants and promote their medical utility for cheaper and better treatment of various diseases in the economically backward Mon region of the Arunachal Himalayas. The people living in the Himalayan belt from Ladakh to Tawang in our country have been practicing the Buddhist indigenous and local healing practices developed by them long ago. It is known as Sowa-Rigpa.
Formal recognition to Sowa-Rigpa was given by Government of India in 2010 when it was included under Indian System of Medicine and placed under the AYUSH Ministry. The ingredients for the preparation of the medicine prescribed in this system are largely herbal and most of the herbs used in this system are found in the Mon region too. Thus, in this direction His Eminence the 13th T.G.Rinpoche set up the Sowa-Rigpa Clinic at Dirang in 2001 for the treatment of various ailments in this area at a very cheap rate and to streamline and strengthen the medicinal plants sector to promote integrated development by coordinating, stimulating production, processing, marketing and for establishing strong infrastructure for medical facilities in this region. However, due to unavoidable circumstances Sowa-Rigpa Clinic at Dirang was shifted to the campus of the G.R.L.Monastery, Bomdila in 2008 for its proper functioning. Dr. Ngawang Thupten was appointed to look after this Sowa Rigpa Clinic as doctor cum in-charge and accordingly, he has served around 10 years as per the task assigned to him by the Society as doctor cum clinic in-charge. However, after he was appointed as Medical Officer at General Hospital, Bomdila under National Health Mission in 2017, the charge of the Sowa Rigpa Clinic was given to the administration of GRL Monastery by the Society.
In this regard, the District Medical Officer, Dr. Dondu Wange was kind enough to deployed Dr. Ngawang Thupten MO (Sowa Rigpa) to the Sowa Rigpa Clinic at GRL Monastery as requested by the Society and the Clinic has been catering free medical and health care services through MO (Sowa Rigpa) to the monks of the GRL Monastery and students of Shanti Deva Vidyalaya and also to the visiting patients from all over Arunachal Pradesh, particularly from Tawang and West Kameng districts. The Sowa-Rigpa Clinic deals with all kinds of human diseases belonging to eight principal branches of Sowa-Rigpa system:-
1. Adult diseases
2. Childhood diseases
3. Female diseases
4. Nervous system diseases
7. Senile diseases
8. Fertility and reproductive diseases.