Saturday, January 31st, 2015 - 9:56 AM
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A Malady Called Rural-Urban Migration Part II

A-Village-Home-2Abandoned? A goongtong in Tongmijangsa, Trashiyangtse

In recent times, the media – particularly Kuensel, has been reporting on a brand new social malady called Goongtong – the apathetic case of abandoned households in the rural areas of Eastern dzongkhags. Other than arousing a mild sense of curiosity generated by the term itself, the tragedy that is Goontong does seem to have created much flutter among the authorities. If it did, there is no sign of it. Goongtong is a term derived from the combination of two independent words: “Goong” meaning household, [... Read More]

Increasing number of farmland being left fallow

unnamedUmsang village

Agriculture: With increasing wild life attacks on their crops, the villagers of Umsang in Chumey, Bumthang have been turning away from farming. Wild life attacks on crops is a major cause for giving up farming according to the villagers. “Cultivation is difficult for women, who make up most of the population is the village and wild life attacks on crops made farming worse for us,” Namgang Dema from Umsang said. Therefore, the village moved to yathra weaving for income. “As an alternative source of income, [... Read More]

Commercial cultivation of bamboo yet to take off in Radhi

DSC01289Almost every household in Radhi grow bamboos

Resources: When villagers of Radhi first started planting bamboo to fight land degradation about seven years ago, no one had the slightest idea of the income it would generate in the years to come. Today, almost every household cultivates bamboo in their back yards and fields. It all started in 2006 through the agriculture ministry’s sustainable land management project, which initiated the plantation. A bamboo pole costs Nu 100 while its rhizome fetches about Nu 75 in the market. However, villagers are yet to start [... Read More]

25 power tillers provided to Mongar and Lhuentse

unnamed-1Mechanisation: The agriculture ministry hands over power tillers to the 25 gewogs in Mongar and Lhuentse

The eastern districts are given priority in providing agriculture machinery    Farming: The 25 gewogs of Mongar and Lhuentse dzongkhags received a power tiller each yesterday. In the morning, the eight gewogs of Lhuentse received its power tillers in Autsho while another 17 power tillers were presented to the local government leaders of Mongar in the evening. During the handing taking ceremony, National Assembly Speaker Jigmi Zangpo said the agriculture ministry decided to give the power tiller in the eastern dzongkhags to address farm labour [... Read More]

His Majesty celebrates Chunyipai losar in Autsho

20150121-907A2090Occasion: His Majesty The King celebrates the Chunyipai Losar with the people of Mongar and Lhuntshe in Autsho.

Celebration: Thousands of people arrived at the Autsho school ground in their festive best, from across Lhuentse, while some travelled from as far as Mongar, for the opportunity to celebrate the Chunyipai Losar with their King yesterday. His Majesty spent the day among the people and granted a grand public tokha. The day was celebrated with traditional songs and dances. Officials serving His Majesty the King entertained the people and a lottery draw, with items essential to farmers as prizes, was also organised. “I have [... Read More]

Fishing for FDI

DSC_3151MP Khandu Wangchuk

As a small fish in a big pond (read India and China), Bhutan has its work (of attracting funds) cut out for it  Investment: Without changing the ground realities, the country cannot gain investors’ confidence and trust even with revision of FDI policy, says the opposition. Officials from the ministry of economic affairs (MoEA) said the new policy would improve the investment climate in the country because restrictive provisions had now been relaxed. Figures from the ministry also reveal that 18 new FDI projects have [... Read More]

Teachers undergo crash course in integrated farming

unnamed-2Teachers being instructed on farming techniques

In pursuance of the broader national goal of food self sufficiency Training: Come the new academic session, students of Tshaphel lower secondary school (LSS) could have a dairy and fungiculture farm of their own. This is what the school’s agriculture focal teacher, Tashi Tenzin, who is among 20 teachers from 10 districts attending the ongoing crash course on integrated farming at the College of Natural Resources (CNR) at Lobesa in Punakha, plans to do. Tashi Tenzin became the school’s agriculture teacher in 2012.  He has [... Read More]

A lhakhang for Changjiji housing colony

unnamedCommunity bonding: Residents are already eager to contribute to the lhakhang’s construction

Religion: The National Housing Development Corporation is building a community lhakhang in the vicinity of the Changjiji housing complex and residents said there is already a community bonding happening. Construction started in November last year, and some residents are contributing labour while some are planning tokha (free lunch) for the workers. This is because the community feels that a lhakhang would bring a lot of changes and harmony to the community. The community suggested the housing corporation to build one. A vegetable vendor at Changjiji [... Read More]

Changangkha lhakhang – The light at the end of the tunnel

WP_20150120_017Mine field: Using the public toilet at Changangkha lhakhang is not a walk in the park

The popular pilgrim spot, plagued by poor infrastructure, will soon see much-needed improvements Heritage: Human faeces lie spread across the floor of the only toilet at Changangkha lhakhang.  Visitors who use the toilet have to be careful about where they step.  Visitors can also be seen walking away from the toilet, their noses wrinkled in disgust at the smell and sight. There is also no water in the toilet. “The toilet condition is horrible that I don’t feel like staying the whole day,” Lobzang Dema, [... Read More]

A malady called rural-urban migration

Old-Couple-Grinding-FlourOnly the old remain

“If something is not done in the next 5-10 years, I can foretell that the dzongdas of the eastern dzongkhags will have to be referred to as dzongda of Mongar wildlife, or dzongda of Trashigang wildlife etc., because there will be no humans left in the villages – except wild animals. It is a policy failure that needs immediate correction.”   -Yonten Tharchen Secretary General, Bhutan Taekwondo Federation   Yonten Tharchen went home to Nganglam after 19 years and returned to Thimphu completely bewildered and [... Read More]

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