Saturday, 28 September 2013

103 years old woman still going strong

Mrs. Sobeni Sherpani, a 103 years old woman of Gangzur village under Tshendagang Gewog, Dagana dzongkhag was born in 1910 during the reign of first king Ugyen wangchuck.
Although she has lived more than a century, she is strong and healthy. She carries 10 kg of rice from nearby shops, collects firewood, cooks food and carries daily household chores. She even attends all the local festivals and seldom attends marriage ceremony in the village.
She has given her land and properties to her children. Currently she lives in a small hut  she built on her own expenses in her son's land She sustains her daily livelihood from the income she has saved during her  young age. She saved money from the income generated by rearing cattle during young age. She was very strong and hardworking woman in the village.
She says that at present she has almost finished her saved income. Although she has three sons and one daughter  but she says they don’t look after her. She earns around Nu 100-150 per month  by selling  local alcohol.  The Gewog administration made a detailed profile of her status and has submitted petition to the His Majesty’s for Kidu. The Gewog administration gave her eco stove which requires less firewood.

This is just a brief story and couldn’t write well due to time constraints.  If any one is interested about this story we will provide details.

Group members
1.     phuntsho Gyeltshen GAO, Tsendagang Gewog, Dagana
2.     Dorji Gyeltshen, Maedtsho, Luntse
3.     Sangay Lhamo, Mendrelgang Tsirang
4.     Tashi Dorji, Langthel, Trongsa

Rural life about a Gewog Administrative Officer (GAO)

As part of decentralization and government transition, GAO’s are being appointed and posted in the gewog. Upholding our expectation that we might be treated at par to other civil servant but it has been mere a dream. Initially, GAOs have to undergo and confront many challenges and hardships with local leaders and overall scenario.

Unlike in the dzongkhag, in gewog there are no senior/ experts staffs to deliver public services. The first challenge to GAOs is to mitigate those shortcomings in delivering public service and seeking support. Gewog and GAOs has been challenged with lack of furniture, computers and other required facilities despite having required performing our mandates.

Gradually, with development of ToRs for GAOs and LG Act, the working atmosphere seems getting better but has been still challenged with many issues. Thus, assigning GAOs with significant responsibilities and duties with less facility that too affects the service delivery.

It is very interesting that other gewog staffs are provided with government staff quarters. GAO who is the supervisor of gewog staffs do struggle in finding shelter. It’s hard for GAOs to find a livable shelter where people do struggle themselves with insufficient house. Ironically, it is interesting to know that GAOs are the only civil servant who offers rural community an opportunity to enhance rural cash income.

GAOs/Gewogs have appealed government for safety quarters to be constructed. Contrary, GAOs quarter is always been compromised with an availability of budget.

If provided with the quarter and other facilities, the GAOs post would be the most challenging and attractive post in years to come.

Tshering Phuntsho             Tashi Tshering        Karma Gyeltshen     Lhakpa Dorji 

GAO, Maenbi                   GAO, Maenbi         GAO, Tashiding     GAO, Drujaygang Lhuentse                               Lhuentse                            Dagana                   Dagana

Pema Lhazom
GAO, SamphelingChhukha

Waste Problem in Darla

Darla Gewog is one of the largest and most populated Gewog located along the Thimphu and Phuentsholing highway under Chukha Dzongkhag. It has an Approx. area of 250 Sq.Km. the Gewog Comprise of six Chiwogs and 45 villages with a population of roughly eight thousand(8000). Cash Crop (Orange and Cardamom) is the main source of income.

With an enormous population, waste disposal has been a great problem for a very long time. Lying of waste like plastic bottles ,cans,plastic bags…etc can be seen not only in the resident areas but it is also found along the high way.

After the sensitization of Waste Mgt Act the Gewog Administration decided to form a waste management committee. The issue was brought forward by the Chiwog Tshogpa as a main problem for causing the emerge different kind of diseases in the Gewog.During the committee’s consultation meeting with the public,By-Laws were formed. Mass Cleaning campaign is carried out on Last week of Sunday every Month. The committee frequently monitors during the Cleaning Campaign.

With the community coming together the waste has been greatly reduced compared to the earlier times.

Tenzin Namgyel
GAO,Darla Gewog,Chukha Dzongkhag
NAmgay WAngdi
GAO,LAja Gewog,Dagana Dzongkhag

Barshong Gewog at glance, Tsirang. - Dupten Tshering

Gewog at a Glance

Barshong Gewog is located in the western part of Tsirang Dzongkhag and has an area of 21.2 sq km. The altitude ranges from 700 to 1500 meters above the sea level. Approximately 52.83% of the land area is under forest cover comprising mainly broad-leaf.  The gewog has a total of 249.41 acres of dry land and 112.37 acres of wet land.

The most commonly used local dialects are Lhotshamkha, Tamang, Mongar and Subba. The gewog is administratively divided into 5 chewogs namely Barshong Toed, Barshong Maed, Gangtokha, Chunnykhang and Toisang with administration center and RNR center at Barshong Toed. Out of five chewogs, two Chewogs (Toisang and Chunnykhang) are not connected with road.The gewog has 249 households with a total population of 2187 (M-1151& F-1036) living in widely scattered 9 villages in the gewog. The gewog center is located about 32 kms away from the Dzongkhag administration, Tsirang. The favorable diverse agro-ecological features provide the gewog with a high potential for the cultivation of many different types of cereal grains as well as horticulture crops.  Paddy, maize, oilseed, wheat are the major cereal crops grown while orange and dominates other cash crops as the main source of cash income for the farmers. Livestock rearing is also an important activity contributing to required food nutrition as well as cash income from the sale of surplus dairy products.

For those households with wetland, rice is reported as the most important source of household income whilst for those without wet land, orange orchards, sale of livestock products, vegetable and other forms of off-farm works such as carpentry and timber sawing contribute to household cash income.

Agriculture and livestock extension services are provided by a RNR Extension center while health services and facilities are also presently availed from BHU located at Gangtokha. Barshong Community Primary School, Toisang ECR and two NFE centers are the only source that provides adequate education services in the gewog with 84% literacy rate. There are 19 civil servants working in the gewog. The gewog is connected with 10 kms of GC road from Mendrelgang to Barshong Gewog center and 6 kms of farm roads – 2 kms Sallarey FR, 2 kms Lungkhorma FR and 2 kms Barshong Toed – Barshong Maed FR). There are 32 irrigation schemes (24.55 kms). 98.39 % of the households living in the gewog are connected with electricity. The establishment of Community Centers has immeasurably benefited the people from all walks of life to access the ICT facilities.

A total budget of Nu 10.039 million has been kept for the 11th Five Year Plan.

Posting in new Gewog

           Excited to get posted in  the new gewog I reached before the given time. At first glance i noticed no smile to their new GAO from his own people. So i said " oh! the public are tribal type". I never cared the remoteness of my gewog though i have to walk with a torch in left hand, a dagger in my right hand and my mouth reciting "om nami padmi hung". This is just to repot to my boss to say"yes sir, i am present on time".
            Now back in the gewog i m living in the open air without housing facilities ,so i realised i missed my previous gewog the charm i had. The next day i faced people in a meeting for important discussion but they started to form different groups. I wondered, because i never ask them to form groups. However i started to get different opinions from different groups which i expected to have single  opinion to submit to my superior. In a office i sat down and an old man came in with a loud noise full of slang words, which remembered " where is the gup?". I came to know he is the retired civil servant who is always against gewog officials. This is how i m going to face these challenges over my tenure serving in the new gewog.

          I knew I was not alone to face these hardship because i got a call from my colleague Miss Pema, of Gaserling Gewog, Dagana  saying" my car's wheel got punctured". I asked "how it happened?" she screamed "it is because of bad road condition". The bad road is one of the few problems faced by GAOs.

After being appointed as a GAO in such a remote place, finding a house to settle is another hardship. Miss Pema shares her experience on housing problems. Being a female, posted in the remote area, the claimed that the Gesarling being the remotest and isolated area, she could still not find a proper place to live. Currently she resides in her Gewog office.

Though GAOs face hardship travelling, living and working in these remote areas, there are some few lucky GAOs who did not face such hardship like Mr . Sonam of Tang Gewog, Bumthang and Jigme of Nubi Gewog, Trongsa Dzongkhag. Sonam shares his experience "i did not face any problem as the Tang Gewog is bit more developed as compared to other Gewogs".

To name few other disadvantages for being appointed in remote area are, internet connection, no roads, an electricity, etc.

Though faced with such hardships, we GAOs are always positive and are happy, after all we are happy helping and serving country. We hope things will get better soon.

Submitted by:

Mr. sangay Dorji                          
GAO, Gosarling, Tsirang
Sonam Chogay, Meadtabkha, Chukha
Pema Dema, Gersaling, Dagana
Ugyen Phuntsho, Khorphu, Trongsa
Jigme Wangmo, Goshi Gewog, Dagana
Jigme Dorji, Nubi, Trongsa

His Majesty’s visit to Tsenkhar Geog Lhuentse.

Summary :-

His Majesty’s visit to Tsenkhar Geog is historic because kidu, which is an important prerogative of the king, started first from Tsenkhar geog. After His Majesty’s coronation it was his first and very important task for the people of Bhuta, It was 11th March 2009, 15th day of first month in the Bhutanese calendar when our Fifth beloved King Jigme Khesar Namgay Wangchuck accompanied by His Royal Highness Dasho Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck ,Her Royal Highness Ashi Dechen Yangzon Wangchuck and other high ranking official visited Tsenkhar Geog.

The main purpose for the His Majesty’s visit was to grant land kidu to the landless people and grant kidu to the excess land holders. Excess land holder here means the people who are not able to pay the land taxes for their excess land. Such land were almost taken back by the government, His Majesty wrote off all the taxes and granted land kidu to individual lakthram.

People of five chiwogs under Tsenkhar Geog began the preparations10 days earlier with support from the Dzongkhag Administration. The people were not only lucky to receive the land kidu but they were also fortunate to get audience from His Majesty. Apart from the land kidu, the people also received different kinds of gift from His Majesty that included coronation coins, blankets, walking sticks, badges, portraits, wrist bands etc.

The day started in a traditional way with a marching ceremony. His Majesty expressed his happiness and gratitude to the people of Tsenkhar geog.  HM stated that he always wished to meet his people and look after the well-being of each and every individual of the country and today he felt that his wishes are coming true.

The day concluded with Tsogchangs which was offered to HM and cultural dances which were joined by HM. The next day 12th March 2009 was a beautiful day. His Majesty started his journey towards Bangtsho and Umling Village where HM interacted with peoples and  visited many households and also a very important site “Bangtsho Gyalpoi Phodrang”. Bangtsho Gyalpoi Phodrang is an underground palace which was constructed in 8th century by king called “khe-kha-Rathoe”.  After the visit to Bangtsho Gyalpoi Phodrang HM started visiting each and every household of Umling village where he personally met with the people viewed their Lakthram, excess land area and gifted gift in terms of cash and other items. After the visit to umling HM proceeded towards Wambur where the people welcome their king with bangchung full with red rice, local eggs, traditional incense, flowers, local made wine(ara), bangchang( local Beer), in return His Majesty shared his happiness, gratitude towards the people and gifted many gifts like wrist band, badges, coins, walking sticks for the elderly and cash for tshogchang.

Before the preparation a public meeting was held at geog centre where the people of Tsenkhar geog were briefed on DO’s and DON’T’s during the visit of HM to our geog, it was discussed with the people regarding the preparation (chadi) for HM’s visit. The chadi preparation for HM’s visit started 10 days earlier; the chadi preparation was jointly done by Dzongkhag Administration and Geog administration. A well experienced sector head was deployed in Tsaenkhar gewog. During the 10 days preparation each Tsokpa’s were actively involved with their community too. Each tsokpa’s were given particular task.

Wambur chiwog was given the task of weaving the bamboo mat which was later used to cover the meeting area. Umling chiwog was given the task of bringing the required poll to the meeting area. Domkhar chiwog was given the task of constructing the stone step towards the meeting ground. Besides all chabi and Tsenkhar chiwog was given the task of making up and trimming of the meeting ground.

The Royal kitchen, guest kitchen and public kitchen was made at the back side of the meeting ground.


The HM’s visit was confirmed coinciding with an auspicious day in the Bhutanese calendar (15th day of the first month). The people of the Tsenkhar geog were so eagere and excited to welcome and meet their king, that’s why most of the people who came from far spent the night at domkhar and some came early in the morning. All the people were groomed in their best clothing and they entered the meeting ground at around 7 am in the morning.

The dung, jaling and rem started its tune which was travelled to all the corners of domkhar tshowog, the people were informed that their king will be arriving in a short while. All faces were eagerly turned towards the welcome gate waiting for their king, and
at 9 am His Majesty arrives. HM was welcome in a traditional way by the Officials and monk body of lhuentse dzongkhag. HM first visited Phendeling Dratshang where HM offered butter lamp and prayer.

The moment HM proceeded towards the meeting hall a group of cow from nowhere came just above the phendeling dratshang and made a unique sound which continued for three times. Everybody in the meeting hall started murmuring that it’s a very good sign. The people of Tsenkhar geog rejoiced with the good sign.

His Majesty’s Speech Regarding His Visit.
Speaking to the people, His Majesty expressed his happiness and gratitude to the people of Tsenkhar geog.

Secondly HM stated that the purpose of his visit to lhuentse dzongkhag is for land, HM explained the people about problems arising in the country due to land. Some of the problems HM pointed out were 1.Dispute on land 2. Transfer of ownership of land 3. Penalty on excess land fragmentation etc. keeping in mind the aforementioned problems HM directed the land commission to re-survey the private, government and institutions land of the entire country to solve the arising problems.

HM also stated that land is a special factor which plays a vital role in the livelihood of every individual in the country, but he has also noted that people are keeping most of the land vacant because they are afraid regarding the penalty they have to pay to the government for excess land. His Majesty said: “ The main purpose for my visit to lhuentse dzongkhag is to grant this penalty to you all as kidu from my side, but your responsibility after this kidu is that you should not keep this excess land vacant, instead you should make the best out of it”.

“ Land is a “NORBU RINPOCHE” (relic) so make the best out of it”. His Majesty added that “today I am really happy to meet you all” hope to see you all in near future again, TASHI DELEK to you all from my side.

GIFT’s For The People

The people of Tsenkhar geog were not only lucky enough to meet HM and receive land kidu but they were also lucky enough to receive many gift items in terms of wrist band, badges, coronation coins, walking stick to olds and cash for Tshogchang.

The students from three community school also came to meet their king, they welcomed their king with many dance program’s and in return HM gifted the students with various gift like coronation coin, geometry boxes, pen, pencil etc. the old age people received gho, kira, cash and walking stick.

Dancers who came with tshogchangs were gifted one kira individually and a cash of Nu.500. Besides all this His Majesty granted kidu to the people who are really in need of it. His Majesty granted kidu to the people who were identified by the geog kidu co-ordinator. All together there are 15 HM’s kidu recipients from Tsenkhar geog. The categories of kidu recipients are one landless, four destitute and ten needy students from tsenkhar geog. These kidu recipients got special audience from His Majesty.

On the way to lhuentse HM visited the age old “BANGTSHO GYALPOI PHODRANG” which was constructed in 8th century by a king with a dog’s mouth and goat’s forehead. During this visit HM went to individual houses and gifted people with items like gho, kira, chems, cash, blankets etc.