English | Dzongkha Thursday, November 21, 2019

Samdrup Jongkhar to become a GNH based commercial hub in 10 years


Nov 8, 2019

Not long ago, Samdrup Jongkhar town used to be the commercial hub for the eastern districts. In recent years, the town saw fewer visitors due to the opening of Gyelpoizhing _ Nganglam highway affecting the growth of the town. To restore it to its former glory, the town’s vision and mission was launched yesterday. The town aims to become a Gross National Happiness based commercial hub in the next ten years.

It is initiated by the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD), and Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative (SJI).

The initiative is a part of the community-mapping project. Community mapping project is an asset­­-based approach to community development.

The vision is to create Samdrup Jongkhar town as Gross National Happiness based commercial hub in eastern Bhutan and the Mission is to nurture a commercially and culturally vibrant community living in peace, healthy and inclusivity.

To fulfil the vision and mission in the next ten year, Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative and BCMD say all the stakeholders and communities should work together.

Cheku Dorji from Samdrup Jongkhar said they have carried out several consultations with the communities and stakeholders before they drafted the vision and mission.

“A Gross National Commercial hub, in short, is a development with values where the focus is more on to like recreational services, retreat centres which are not totally focused on making a profit but in terms of making people come to Samdrup Jongkhar from a different perspective with our own culture, tradition unlike other towns,” said Cheku Dorji, the Programme Director for SJI.

The message was conveyed through a play on Thumpa-Penzhi or four friends where it showed the importance for communities and stakeholders to be united and work collectively to develop the town during the launch yesterday.  

According to the Programme Director, it is the responsibility for both the communities and stakeholders to implement and take it further to achieve Samdrup Jongkhar town as a Gross National Happiness town:

“It is not that it has to be implemented, it is a part of the community mapping project where we have come with the vision and mission for the Samdrup Jongkhar and now we are offering this vision and mission statement to Samdrup Jongkhar thromde and other stakeholders. When it comes to implementation it will totally depend on them. However, the SJI and BCMD will further discuss it with the stakeholders.”

Over the past three years, SJI and BCMD have implemented ten Local Action Projects using Community Mapping Tools in Dewathang, Orong and Samdrup Jongkhar town.

 Kinley Wangchuk

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