Speech by the Bongop Tshogpa Representative at the Inauguration of 36 Toilets in Bongo

Your Excellency the Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs,

Mr. Bharatbhushan Jayantilal, Ms. Charulata R A Seth and Ms. Bhanumati representing the Rotarians and Rotary Clubs in Malaysia,

The Club President of the Rotary Club of Thimphu,

Thrizin of Bongo Gewog,

Guests,

And the public of Bongo and other villages

May I thank Your Excellency the Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs and our  guests from Malaysia Mr. Bharatbhushan Jayantilal and Ms. Charulata R A Seth and Ms. Bhanumati and the President of the Rotary Club of Thimphu Rotarian Tsewang Rinzing for joining us to celebrate the successful completion and inauguration of 36 Pour Flush Toilets in Bongo village. The toilets were constructed with support from Rotary Club of Thimphu and a Consortium of Rotarians and Rotary Clubs in Malaysia, along with few Clubs from India. Today we are celebrating the success of one community-led project in Bongo village. It is the celebration of the kindness and generosity and support received from many people from within and outside the country, for the benefit of 36 households in Bongo. It is also the celebration of the sense of volunteerism of many individuals for the past two months to bring this genuine initiative to fruition.

I would like to share a short anecdotal account of how this project came into being.

One morning, As I took a ride with the Health Assistant of Bongo BHU from Jungley, we began to speak of a wishful thought about every household of Bongo owning a toilet of their own.

That morning itself, Tshogpa of Bongo Chiwog Rinchen Gyeltshen and myself started listing down the households who owned a toilet and those who did not. Subsequently, it turns out that only 8 household had toilets, while 36 of them did not have one.

I spent that whole morning photographing each and every pit toilet in the village to show to the outside world, the plight of the Bongo people. We felt that the sorry images would demonstrate to people the lack of the most basic necessity to promote health, wellbeing and human dignity.

Lekey Wangdi and myself drafted a short proposal to submit to anyone who might be forthcoming. A chance meeting between Ugyen Pem, a Tshogpa Member of the Bongo Tshogpa, and Yeshey Dorji, Club Secretary of Rotary Club of Thimphu was the defining moment. Ugyen Pem broached the subject with the Club Secretary and he agreed to put up the proposal to other Club Members during their weekly meeting. The Club Members agreed to take on the project and reached out to Rotarians in Malaysia. Rest is history.

We would like to inform the gathering today that we have formed a small but informal organization called Bongop Tshogpa. It is composed of all Bongops who work and live outside the village. Lekey Wangdi, son of Aum Nim Budha, Ugyen Pem, Daughter of Ap Nakchu, Sangay Tshering, Son of Ap Namgay of Zamsa and myself serve voluntarily as the Administrators of this informal organization. This initiative is one of the few others which we have undertaken and hopes to continue in future.  Four of us have worked hand in hand to bring this project this far. In every step that we took, Mr. Yeshey’s advise guided us

It is quite possible that the Club President Mr. Tsewang Rinzing may have not heard of Bongo village – but today he is here among us – to celebrate an occasion that demonstrates his and his other Rotarian colleagues’ spirit of charity and sense of volunteerism.

Same goes with Mr. Bharatbhushan Jayantilal and Ms. Charulata R A Seth who may have heard of this remote village – only through the project that they have helped bring to fruition. I would also like to mention that Ms. Bhanumati from Singapore is among us today with a genuine interest to be among us.

This gathering of villagers of Bongo remain thankful to the three guests and to the President of the Rotary Club of Thimphu for coming this far to see our people, our village and to see their own act of kindness bear fruit.

The trial toilet was constructed in November and it took us 24 days to complete just one toilet! The construction of the remaining 35 toilets began on December 24 2017 and on January 26 2018, every toilet was completed. It took us only 33 days to complete 35 toilets! Not even a day for each toilet! It gives me great pleasure to inform the gathering that the project implementation has been a great success.

Now that we have achieved what we all wanted to see for our villagers in terms of a decent pour-flush toilet, where do we go from here.

Firstly, we hope to have the toilets used properly.  Our toilets are constructed in a way that it has both the bathroom and the toilet spaces in the same compartment. This was to ensure that we gain the maximum benefit of the structure that is constructed. We hope our people can now keep the toilets as clean as possible, for their own benefit.

Secondly, I hope our days of using sticks and stones after the toilet is finally over. That we now instill in people a new culture of using water.

Thirdly and most importantly, we hope that the 36 toilets in Bongo serve as the symbol of cooperation of our people, spirit of volunteerism of our Bongop young men and women and that it marks the celebration of the generosity of people from Thimphu, Malaysia and from India.

As we end this program today, we would like to take you around our village to see the toilets as well as see the village in detail for yourself. You will notice that the waste water flows in this village without any drainage system. You will also note that it is very difficult for the children and old people to walk from one house to another because we don’t have a decent footpath.

Today, I dare dream again that one day we have a drainage system constructed for this village and also that we walk on footsteps laid out from one house to another. This is my next dream to achieve for this village.

I also like to make an honourable mention that Azha Sangay Dorji from Ketokha is among us today. He has come all the way from Ketokha village to share with us his desire for a decent toilet for all his few villagers of Ketokha.

I beg your forgiveness if our distinguished guests feel that we are asking a lot. But we are only seeking for a decent living condition and sanitation in our villages. That we are seeking to help the Ministry of Health and our government to achieve its targets in health improvement.

We would like to compliment the efforts of our government and fulfill the aspirations of our visionary Kings to make Bhutan a model place to live, to make it a happy place in every corner of the country. We hope to work to the best of our abilities for our Kings, for our government and most importantly, to serve our parents and brothers and sisters living in the villages.

Thank you again to everyone for giving such opportunities to Bongop Tshogpa to serve with all our heart and mind and for making every Bongop proud with the completion of the project to construct 36 toilets in Bongo by the kindness and generosity of the Rotary Club of Thimphu, Consortium of Rotary Clubs in Malaysia and Rotary Clubs from India.

Tashi Delek

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Bongo Losar from 19 to 22 December

One Losar ends and another begins. Ketokha Nyaru Losar was a huge success. There was unlimited joy and happiness shared among the people of Ketokha and all who attended the Nyaru Losar. For those who have failed to make it to the Ketokha Nyaru Losar, you have to wait for the Ketokha Nyaru video which is forthcoming or you can come to attend the Bongo Losar which starts from 19 December.

There are always unique features in Losars celebrated in different Bongop villages. Ketokha Nyaru was  unique in different aspects and it is even hard to put forth in words the uniqueness. Bongo Losar certainly has its own beauty and charm. If you want to see how it was celebrated back in 2015, please click on the video link below to watch the film made by Jamyang Jamtsho of Gumar Films.

Bongo Losar this time around should be a grand one. We expect all Bongops residing outside of the village to come to attend the Losar. Bongop Tshogpa would be happy to coordinate and travel together from Thimphu if there are many travelers.

Welcome everyone to our Losar. Leave aside your ‘busy schedule’. Let’s enjoy among our parents, brothers, sisters and with our village friends once in a year. We expect to see all of you at Bongo on the evening of 18th December.

***

 

Bongop Tshogpa Fund Balance as of 30 Sept 2017 is Nu. 32,722 and Chhetrum 59

Today we would like to account for the expenditure and balance of our Bongop Tshogpa Fund.  During the Third Tshogpa Meeting, one of the important recommendations was that any Bongop who needs to perform activities and have to make expenditure for the benefit of all Bongops needs to be reimbursed from the Tshogpa fund.

Many of the Bongop Tshogpa activities are in the villages and honestly, it is taxing and expensive to make frequent trips to the villages to know the status and also monitor the activities. We have few already ongoing and will be updated at the right time when the activities are completed.

The Tshogpa Account was activated on 1st August 2014. As of 30 September 2017, our account balance is exactly Nu. 50,111.59 (fifty thousand one hundred eleven and chhetrum fifty nine). But this amount is excluding few ad-hoc deposits made by the Bongops in between. So today, we would like to find the Net amount remaining in our Bongop Tshogpa Account.

Sangay Thinley, Lekey Wangdi and Sangay Tshering made few expenditure from their own pockets for the benefit of all Bongops and haven’t claimed the refund from the Tshogpa fund. We would like to refund them the amount they have made by them personally. On the other side, we also have left few amount of money which are yet to deposit in the Tshogpa Account. This is also recovered today through this accounting.

Firstly the gross fund balance of our Tshogpa Fund:

 

 

Expenses made by the three Bongops on different expenditure heads are as reflected below in the table:

Gross Reimbursement to Sangay Thinley  
Sl NoType of ExpenditureCost (Nu)
1Two Tea Flasks purchased as replacemnt in August 20161100
2Expenditure for food and drinks in Bongo village during Danish Professor visit1350
3Fuel for Karma Chethay Bolero to drive Mr. Tshewang, Guide of Danish Professors to Bongo1000
4Fuel for Karma Chethay Bolero to drive Sho Takano to Jungley and Phasuma1000
5Research Assitant fee paid to Mr. Dawa of Phasuma, Ex student of Pakshikha Central School to do research on Pakshikha student marks2000
6Pakshikha student education materials8320
7Wisdom Magazine arhive purchase and subscription2230
7Cost of One LPG Gas Cylinder Usage during Tshogpa Meeting540
Total17540
Gross Reimbursement to Sangay Tshering
1Airfare for Bongop Taekwondo player Phuntsho from Jungley10350
Total10350
Gross Reimbursement to Lekey Wangdi
1Vehicle hire charges for delivery of Tarayana jackets to Bongo and Baeyulkuenzang6000
2Biscuits and refreshments purchased at Youth Meet and mobile voucher to volunteers1500
Total7500

Refunds that needs to be paid to Sangay Thinley, Lekey Wangdi and Sangay Tshering are as reflected below:

 Refundable by Lekey Wangdi Cost (Nu.)    
1Sangay Tshering Youth Seed Money10000
2Ugay Contribution3000
Total13000
Refundable by Sangay Thinley
1Aou Chimi Contribution1000
2Aou Tshering (Daughter of Dasho BT Dorji) contribution3000
3Dawa Yangchen Contribution1000
Total5000
1Net Payable to Sangay Thinley12540
2Net Payable to Lekey Wangdi-5500
3Net Payable to Sangay Tshering10350

With this deductions, the total fund balance of our Tshogpa Fund as of 30 September 2017 is 32,722 (Thirty Two Thousand Seven Hundred Twenty Two and Chhetrum Fity Nine)

ReimbursementsTotal (Nu)
Total Tshogpa Fund Balance50111.59
After reimburse to Sangay Thinley37571.59
After reimburse by Lekey Wangdi43071.59
After reimburse to Sangay Tshering32721.59
Remaining Tshogpa Fund Balance as of 30 September 201732722.59

With this, we would like to thank every Bongop who have supported Bongop Tshogpa financially as well as in different ways. All Bongops remain grateful for your kindness and look forward to more support.

***

 

 

Aum Passa Bidha and Sangay Dorji (Tsagay) donates one 5 Litre rice cooker and a 3 Litre water boiler

All Bongops remain thankful to Aum Passa Bidha and Sangay Dorji (Tsagay) for donating a 5 Litre rice cooker and a 3 Litre water boiler for common use by all Bongops. Both of them have been very supportive to all Bongops from the very beginning itself when the idea of forming Bongop Tshogpa was initially started.

Sangay Dorji (Tsagay) is indeed the first person who started contributing for the Bongop Tshogpa in year 2014 when the Bongop Tshogpa Fund was opened for the first time. His single contribution started a chain of events which finally led to what Bongop Tshogpa is today.

The rice cooker that the two siblings donated will be immensely useful for all Bongops. Currently, Bongop Tshogpa has one 10 Litre rice cooker, which is sometimes too big to cook for only few people at mass gatherings.

So to all Bongops who spare your precious time to read this short post, please pass the word around of such good deeds by a fellow Bongop among us. We will all benefit from the kind heart of few like them. We assure to take utmost good care of the two utilities they have donated for all Bongops and hope to spread the benefit to as many Bongops and other people as possible.

Bongop Tshogpa thanks Aum Passa Bidha and Sangay Dorji (Tsagay) for your kindness and generosity for the benefit of all Bongops.

***

Farm Road construction to Baeyul Kuenzang begins

A major milestone in the lives of Bongops of Baeyul Kuenzang and Geduphu village was achieved on Monday 25 September when the farm road construction was officially opened by His Excellency the Home Minister Lyonpo Dawa Gyaltshen in presence of the Dasho Dzongdag of Chukha and Dzongkhag and Gewog officials.

The road construction to Baeyul Kuenzang is different from other methods of road construction by the government. It will be done by our Gewog. As you remember, one Excavator each was supplied to each Dzongkhag by the government. The Excavator for Chukha Dzongkhag will be used for road construction to Baeyul Kuezang. The fuel for the use of Excavator will be supplied from the Gewog Development Grant (GDG) (edited as ” The fuel for use of Excavator will be supplied from the Dzongkhag Development Grant” as per clarification from Chukha Dzongkhag Administration).

This is a new model of doing construction and shows the increased involvement of our people and the Gewog. A Lajab (Supervisor) of the road construction work was also appointed on the same day by the public of Baeyul Kuenzang. We are positive that it will be a success but also feel apprehensive that such new models may encounter some challenges in its implementation.

As a Bongop, we have to be active and we should ensure that the road to Baeyul Kuenzang is successfully constructed and such models of increased involvement of our villagers should be encouraged and replicated to other communities.

Further, we are also happy that one of our Tshogpa Administrators had the pleasure to interact with the Dzongkhag officials and had the opportunity to submit about our Bongop Tshogpa activities to our Dasho Dzongdag.

On the sidelines, Dasho Dzongdag also visited Bjimichu area and interacted with the public and shopkeepers of Bjimichu. Discussions were held with the shopkeepers to find out if they faced any issues. Few issues like a 100-meter diversion road from Lhamoizhingkha highway to Bjimichu was discussed. Dasho agreed informally to allow the short road diversion to be constructed. We hope to submit to Dasho Dzongdag and the Dzongkhag the exact physical feature of the required road area.

All in all, it was a great day to see all our people of Baeyul Kuenzang and Geduphu at the road opening. A grand lunch was served by the Gewog. Our Bongo Gup Tshering Nidup was very active and practical in many aspects. He did so many things physically on his own for the grand event. Our Mangmi Sonam Choden and Baeyul Kuenzang Tshogpa Yeshey Choden’s role was very crucial for the success of the day. These two ladies worked from being a cook to a tea server to representing as a public elected figure. We have to appreciate the strength and stamina of these two women.

The public were very cooperative and Akhu Rinchen Gyeltshen and all others from Baeyul Kuenzang played active parts. Mr. Tshering Penjor (Pako) drove all the way from Phuentsholing to Bjimichu to attend the celebration. He was especially generous to sponsor drinks to our villagers at the Bjimichu shops. We all remain grateful for his persistent generosity and laughter generated by his boasty jokes.

Lastly, we are all fortunate and especially the people of Baeyul Kuenzang are more so that the much awaited farm road construction is finally happening. We are also told that the our suspension bridge construction from Bjimichu on Tala side to the opposite river bank across Wang Chu will begin soon. We wait eagerly for the bridge to begin as well.

***

 

Challenges facing Bongop community and few solutions

Rural areas in Bhutan face many challenges. Bongop community has its own challenges. At the 3rd Tshogpa meeting, we discussed on the challenges Bongop community now faces and tried to find solution among ourselves. At the outset, we would like to thank every Bongop who took part in this important exercise.

We divided ourselves into five groups with five people in each group and discussed on the following main issues.

  1. How to generate Bongop Tshogpa fund?
  2. Where to keep Bongop Tshogpa utensils?
  3. How to solve logging and bad road condition issues in Bongo, Phasuma, Jungley and Zamsa
  4. How to solve the difficulty faced by people of Bongo village in particular to perform Kuchoed at Lhakhang?
  5. How to start income-generating activities in villages?
  6. How to bring Bongops from other villages together, eg. from Ketokha, Damji and other villages of Bongo Gewog?
  7. How Bongop elders can support Bongop youth?
  8. How to bring people together to celebrate village events together? example annual archery and
  9. Any other issues you find important to discuss? Please note down and also provide suggestions

The questions were many and some groups took almost one hour to find answers to all the questions listed here. There were many interesting answers and we have the pleasure to report them as presented by the group presenter from each group.

  1. How to generate Bongop Tshogpa fund?

All groups shared that the Bongop Tshogpa fund collection should be left to a voluntary contribution. A different view was shared by Group 5, saying that we should use MBoB facilities to even accept Tshogpa fund donations as low as Nu. 50 or 100. The Tshogpa further decided that henceforth, we may accept only MBoB online transfers as handling cash creates room for misuse.

2. Where to keep Bongop Tshogpa utensils?

At the end of December, Bongop Tshogpa Utensils have to be shifted to a new place as our present caretaker Aum Yangden is vacating her apartment. Group 1 suggested that we may have to rent a store to keep the utensils. Other than that, the rest of the groups could not suggest anything. At the end, the Tshogpa Chairman decided that Tshogpa Administrators will decide on which place and person will take care of the utensils.

3. How to solve logging and bad road condition issues in Bongo, Phasuma, Jungley and Zamsa villages

This is one issue which we have never shared in the public but today, as not to bias our meeting reports, we share that Bongops face a unique problem of losing our trees to BBPL factory and our roads being damaged by lorry trucks. The basic premise is that our laws have allowed people to sell trees from their private land and we cannot do anything about it. But the damages done by trucks carrying the logs are huge to our farm roads. We discussed on how to solve this issue, but nothing came out of it. All the groups shared that we may have to talk to the village Tshogpa, Chipon or LG leaders.

4. How to solve the difficulty faced by people of Bongo village in particular to perform Kuchoed at Lhakhang?

This is also the first time we are reporting the issue to the public. The people of Bongo village face a lot of difficulty to perform annual rituals at the Bongo Lhakhang. Through our research, we found that there are 11 different rituals performed at Bongo Lhakhang in one year. The Principal amount for one ritual, example Dhaw Dhangpa Nungney which is held for four days is Nu. 143,000. Someone who borrows this amount this year should do the four day ritual next year as an interest incurred on this amount. The interest is not calculated and not fixed but the one who borrowed should perform the ritual and give feast to the public for four days in a row. So a rough estimate form research found that the borrower have to spend about Nu. 90,000 to do the four day Nungney. In simple terms, the interest against Nu. 143,000 is Nu. 90,000. This is proving to be a huge burden for the people of Bongo village. We wanted it to be discussed among the Bongops at the meeting. Honestly, nothing much came out of any group except for the suggestion that Bongops who live in urban areas and who are working should volunteer to be incharge of the community rituals. We are yet to find a concrete solution to this but hope to work closely with people of Bongo to find a solution to this Kuchoed issue facing people of Bongo village.

5. How to start income-generating activities in villages?

There are hardly any income generating farming activities in our villages. We deliberated on this issue as well. Most of the solutions focused on starting alternative crops, finding market for the crops and also working closely with the agriculture staff of our Gewogs. We are yet to find a solution in this area as well.

6. How to bring Bongops from other villages together, eg. from Ketokha, Damji and other villages of Bongo Gewog?

This topic generated some interesting solutions. It ranged from appointing Chiwog coordinators, using social media, conducting get-together programmes and Group 5 even suggested we should change the name of Bongop Tshogpa to something else to show that all villages of Bongo Gewog are included in Bongop Tshogpa. We leave this to time and hope our website can reach out to many people from other villages under Bongo Gewog as well. Bongop Tshogpa is for everyone from Bongo Gewog, although we keep on talking about few villages only. This is entirely because we have no one from other villages who are taking active parts in Bongop Tshogpa activities. We welcome anyone who may want to be part of our activities.

7. How Bongop elders can support Bongop youth?

In this discussion, Group 2 were emotional. The elderly group representative even asked which areas Bongop elders have failed to support the youth. Programmes to know each other were suggested. Winter and summer programmes in villages were also recommended by all groups.

8. How to bring people together to celebrate village events together? example annual archery

On this topic, there were suggestions from three groups that people who dont come to celebrate annual archery in the villages should be made to pay fines. Group 2 suggested that we do proper research on why people skip such important community events. Suggestions were also made by some groups that people living in Thimphu should consider coming to such important village events.

9. Any other issues you find important to discuss? Please note down and also provide suggestions

Finally, this question was the most important among all in the group discussion. Many new issues facing our Bongop communities have surfaced from this discussion.

  1. Group 1 suggested that teenage pregnancy is becoming issue in our villages and that we should do something to solve it.
  2. Group 2 shared that we should reach out to all other Bongops who could not be part of us at the meeting. They also suggested that more Bongops should volunteer to be part of Bongop Tshogpa. Group 2 further suggested that our Bongop youths have to be educated on the negative impacts of alcohol and drugs.
  3. Group 3 came up with a unique issue saying that the trust level in our villages is breaking down. Everyone accuses another of taking profit out of money or material collections. It may be necessary for our Tshogpa to intervene in such collections and act as a neutral person so that people dont accuse each other of taking profit from money or material donations done in the villages.
  4. Group 4 suggested that we may need to look for Bongop volunteers who can go to schools and teach English.
  5. Group 5 recommended that Bongops living and working outside should serve as example to our younger generation with such activities benefiting our common people in the rural areas.

At the end of the group discussion, the Tshogpa Administrator summarised and shared that the suggestions from the group discussion will be considered in drafting the way forward and the list of activities the Tshogpa will carry out from now on.

We would like to thank everyone who shared the passionate and important views and solutions about issues facing our Bongop communities. We hope many will provide more solutions in the future. It also helps us to draft the way forward for Bongop Tshogpa, which is the topic of our next post.

***

Third Bongop Tshogpa meeting overview and outcomes

At the Third Bongop Tshogpa meeting, 36 Bongops attended the meeting. This includes 15 from Bongo, 9 from Baikuenza, two each from Phasuma and Zamsa, one from Ketokha and three of our Bongop In-Laws.

We would like to share summary of the events and discussion we had among us and also share brief of the outcomes from the meeting.

The meeting began with recollection of the second Tshogpa meeting held in August 2014. In it, the main highlight was on the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Tshogpa which was adopted during the meeting. Next we discussed the Tshogpa functionaries who were appointed at the second meeting and the roles assigned against each of them.

Next from the recollection of the second meeting was the fund contributors. The total funds collected until now was shared with the group. We also touched on our Tshogpa utensils.

Then the major chunk of the morning meeting time was spent on updating the Tshogpa activities from 2014 till this day. The activities done till now was broadly categorised into three types.

  1. Community promotion activities
  2. Community development activities
  3. Youth development activities

In the Community promotion activities the following were included and informed to the group:

① Hosting of Bongop Community Website

② Camera Donation to Schools

③ Documentation of Phasuma and Bongo Lhakhang Documents

In the Community development activities, the following were included and discussed at the meeting:

  1. Support to Cleaning Campaigns in different villages
  2. Support to Aum Nakim of Phasuma during fire disaster
  3. Support to Phuntsho Tashi of Jungley
  4. Tarayana Jacket Distribution
  5. Phasuma AMC Cardamom Drier installation
  6. Via University, Denmark Professor’s visit to Bongo
  7. JICA Deputy RR visit and Kitchen Utensil Rack for Jungley to improve sanitation
  8. Bongo Village Toilet Project

In the Youth development activities we informed the group about:

  1. Bongop Youth Meet and
  2. Pakshikha Education Camp

There was tea break and after the break, a quick run through was done to broadcast the names of Bongops and In-Laws who have contributed to the Bongop Tshogpa Fund since its initiation in 2014. Please refer to the contributor’s list to see them. We also shared the names and pictures of those who have contributed to the cleaning campaign and to the support of Aum Nakim of Phasuma whose house was destroyed by fire.

After lunch session was more interesting in the sense that the crux of the concern of every Bongop was shared. The issues and challenges facing Bongops were shared to the meeting. We then divided ourselves into five groups of five persons each to discuss and find solution to the issues we Bongops now face. It was very interesting when the group members presented. We leave it here as it  will be subject of our next post on our website.

In brief, the main outcome from this meeting was:

  1. That our proposal to have three types of Tshogpa fund was not accepted by the group. So Bongop Tshogpa Account remains as one account only. But unlike in the past where we are not allowed to spend from the account, from this meeting, we decided that we can use Tshogpa fund for different activities as per agreement by the Chairman.
  2. Announcement of the acceptance of donations for the Tshogpa fund: That from today, we announce that we are accepting voluntary donations for the Bongop Tshogpa fund.
  3. New appointment and re-appointment of Tshogpa post holders: Dasho Kinley Dorji was unanimously re-appointed as the Tshogpa Chairman.  Lopen Pem Gyelsthen has resigend as the Vice Chairman. So Sonam Jamba from Baikuenza is our Vice Chairman. Tshogpa Treasurer is Choden and Tshogpa Secretary remains same.
  4. We then set the way forward and the activities for our Tshogpa, which will be the subject of the last post in this series.

We hope you have got a general idea about how the discussions have gone through at the one day meeting. We also hope this post helped many of our interested Bongops who have not been able to attend the meeting to get the overall idea. We will also bring more details in the comings posts on the discussions and resolutions.

***

Voluntary Cash Contributions by Bongops till now

Bongop Tshogpa was given life and momentum when few Bongops came up voluntarily to contribute cash amounts for the welfare of all Bongops. Then all other Bongops living in Bhutan and outside the country joined in. As of 31st July this year, the amount in our Tshogpa Bank Account is Nu. 49, 704 (Forty Nine Thousand Seven Hundred and Four).

We would like to thank everyone who have made money contributions to Bongop Tshogpa. We list each and everyone of you on our website for our record and for the information of all Bongops and others who may be interested to see how kindness of few individuals and common efforts of many can bring together a community, help each other and above all contribute to promotion of community harmony in Bhutan.

Bongops have made cash contributions at three occasions until now.

  1. Contributions for Bongop Tshogpa Fund
  2. Contributions for Mass Cleaning in Bongop villages
  3. Contributions for Aum Nakim family of Phasuma

Further we would like to inform that some contributions which were received from 2015-2016 could not be updated as we decided that it will be done once we settle the accounts after the Tshogpa meeting on 10 September, 2017.

We would also like to announce that voluntary contributions from Bongps will resume after 10th September. If anyone wants to contribute, you can either leave message on our Facebook account or call Tshogpa Administrators directly.

Thanking you all Bongops for the support till now and find below photos and amount contributed by Bongops.

 

 

A generous Japanese will donate 20 Kitchen Utensil Racks for Jungley village and visit Bongo and Phasuma

It is with pleasure we share that Sho Takano-san, a Japanese, will visit Jungley, Bongo and Phasuma villages on 5th and 6th August. He has agreed to donate 20 Kitchen Utensil Racks to the households in Jungley village. Our Tshogpa Administrator, Sangay Thinley, will accompany him on the trip.

When Bongop Tshogpa posted the need for 20 Kitchen Utensil Racks on our website, Sho Takano-san volunteered to sponsor for Jungley village. We are very thankful to him for this generosity.

On Saturday 5th August, Sho Takano-san, accompanied by a good friend of his Mr. Jigme Phuntsho from Bumthang, will start their journey from Thimphu at 6:00 AM to meet the people of Jungley and hand over the kitchen utensil racks. Before the handing over, our plan is to invite Health Assistant (HA) of Bongo BHU to talk on the need for proper sanitation in our homes and to show to the people how a small equipment like a kitchen utensil rack can prove useful in keeping our houses clean and how it can help to promote the health of all household members. In Jungley, Chipon Daw Zam agreed to arrange lunch for four people including our Bongop Tshogpa Administrator.

Picture 1: A sample utensil rack

Takano-san shared how happy he is to be part of our Bongop Tshogpa objective to ‘promoting community harmony’. His interest in our community and our initiative is strong and we are overwhelmed indeed for himself personally agreeing to visit our villages.

We will have Sho Takano-san and Lopen Jigme Phuntsho go to Bongo and spend some time and then spend the evening in Phasuma interacting with the people. We are happy to share a short message from Takano-san himself below:

I am very glad to be part of the movement of “Promoting Community Harmony”. Bhutan is facing astounding rural-urban migration, causing high pressure on urban development and unemployment for youth in the capital city and agricultural labor shortage in rural areas. I noticed there was a fear of losing well-balanced development and prosperity, which were the principles of development policy in Bhutan. I totally believe that small community activities like “Promoting Community Harmony” in each district have big potential to play a vital role for People’s Happiness. For me, it is great pleasure to learn and absorb life in your village and tackle on Livelihood Improvement together. My motto is “Small is Beautiful”.

Bongop Tshogpa hope to continue doing such small initiatives. We hope to see many other people like Sho Takano-san to come our way in the future. We thank him again. Please find below the detail itinerary and also included the ‘travel advisory’ we prepared for Takano-san’s visit. It may be helpful for any Bongop who may like to take guests to Bongo and other villages:

Drone pictures of Bongo taken in August 2016

In August 2016, one of our Tshogpa admins received generous help from a film producer and Drone owner to go to Bongo and take drone footage of our village. He is Director and film maker  Sonam Phuntsho, popularly known as Sherlock. He has directed films like Samsara and Drang Golay.

The team consisting of three of his staff walked all the way from Diphuna to Phasuma and then half way to Zamsa and finally reached Bongo after taking drone images. Last year August, road to Bongo was blocked by landslide, which made them walk all the way from Power House to our village. Bongop Tshogpa cannot be thankful enough to Sherlock and his group. Today, after almost a year, we are happy to show some photos of our village taken using drone. We hope to replicate such initiatives in other Bongop villages as well. So if you come through any other interested individuals possessing sophisticated cameras and photography skills, please do invite them to our villages. Our villages are just too beautiful not to photograph! Enjoy some of the drone photos here.

Bongo Drone

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