It is 5:30 in the evening and the outdoor gym which lies below the road toward Trashigang hospital is filled with an assortment of people, young and old, who have come out for some physical exercise and fresh air.
Trashigang residents are becoming increasingly health conscious and the outdoor gym facility is used to its full capacity by the public.
“I just arrived here. I can’t leave now,” says a 35-year-old Karma Wangmo to another person who asks for a chance on her equipment.
Karma is a housewife, and a mother of one. She spends her day doing household chores. “I came to realize that I needed to keep myself fit and healthy,” she said. “My daughter told me that I was gaining weight but now I am feeling healthier and much lighter so I will continue to exercise.”
A regular outdoor gym user, Samten Dendup said it is refreshing to exercise in the open air and he feels light and fresh throughout the day after a good work out. “It is a good sign that an increasing number of people are taking interest in physical and mental wellbeing.”
He also said that the gym allows office-goers like him to build up a sweat and to keep the physique healthy.
Memay Sangay who is with his niece at the outdoor gym in the town said he wants to keep fit and other than exercising, he also gets to spend some quality time with people in the community. “The gym is becoming a healthy hangout for the residents and I come here every morning and evening to refresh myself.”
On the other side of the outdoor gym, the children’s park which is located near the Mithidrang stream is also filled with delightful squeals of children in the town.
“We like to play here after school and we are happy that we have a recreational park near our home,” says an 11-year-old girl.
Meanwhile, residents are happy that a recreational park has been built for their children.
One of the residents said that a proper and safe area for children was required for a long time and that the park in town benefits all the residents since they do not have to worry about children playing by the roadside and encountering accidents.
Another resident, Norbu said that the park ensures the safety of the children in town. “Since the recreational park was constructed, residents don’t have to worry about their children being hit by cars or indulging in bad activities.”
He added that though the park is not a full-fledged children’s park it still benefits all the residents in town.
Both the open-air gym and recreational park were constructed last year.
Jigme Wangchen from Trashigang