English | Dzongkha Thursday, August 22, 2019

You REAP as you sow

Jun 29, 2011

There is a ray of hope for the villagers of Sanu Dungtoe in Samtse.

Sanu Dungtoe is an obscure, humble hamlet in Dungtoe geog, Dorokha Dungkhag. Nothing is out of the ordinary here. Except perhaps, its poverty. It is a poor village. To be precise, it is one of the 10 poorest villages in the Kingdom.

The villages grow maize, millet, paddy and vegetables. They work as hard as the day is long but barely have enough to feed their families. Life here is hard. The village has no road or electricity, making life harder still.

One of the inhabitants, 29-year-old Phool Maya Rai, lives with her family of five in a one room shack. For her, life is a daily struggle for food on the table. (It is a manner of saying. The family has no table)

“The yield from our fields is enough only for three to four months. Rest of the year, we work as wage labourers,” she said.

Most of the villagers have the same story to share. A few of them own orange trees but the income is not enough. The men either work as porters or on construction sites.

They are hoping that their life will change for the better. The reason is the launch of the Rural Economic Advancement Programme (REAP), an initiative of the Gross National Happiness.

Yeshi Zangpo, the geog administration officer, explained how the programme will work.

“To alleviate poverty, we have started various programs. First is the construction of a mill and a poultry farm. We are also training 20 farmers in traditional carpentry.”

The change won’t be phenomenal but the farmers are happy. They are not asking for huge developments. All they are asking for is enough food to last the whole year long and a roof over their head. And should they get electricity and a road, it will be a dream come true.

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