English | Dzongkha Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Journey to Lauri

By Kinzang Yeshi, Samdrup Jongkhar
Jan 25, 2012
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Lauri under Samdrup Jongkhar is one of the remote Gewogs in the Kingdom. The Gewog is yet to be connected by road. At present it takes about three days on foot from the Dungkhag in Jomotsangkha.

On hearing that people are migrating to towns I decided to pay a visit to understand this pertinent societal issue.

The journey to Lauri can get rough if you hitch a ride on farm road from Jomotsangkha town. I joined a group of people on a truck, which ferries people till the road end. The bumpy ride is cut short by a bridge construction. From this point everyone walks carrying whatever they have. Restaurants are hard to come by along the way. People picking pack lunches en-route are a common sight.

The horse caravan and people crossing Jomori river over temporary foot bridges several times is part of the route to Lauri. Occasionally, some make shift shops can be seen. Weary travelers take breaks and warmly brewed Ara nearby or imported beer is the common refreshment.

As much as the number of people headed for Lauri one can come across same number heading the opposite direction. Carrying heavy, yet are happy talking to you.

On the third day of my journey, I could finally get the view of Lauri Gewog centre from Jompa. It is truly breathtaking so to say. One can see the school, RNR, Gewog office, basic health unit and shops. Constructions are also common.

I visited Momring village and the annual tshechu was underway. I found out the village has 74 households but more than 15 are under lock and key for most part of the year. This time the owners just came for the Tshechu. To keep the tradition alive, some of the civil servants in Thimphu, practised masked dances after office hours to be displayed during the Tshechu. The one particular dance, I saw, was the Kengcham, a spectacular naked dance (not anymore). There are not young people back in the village to carry out this tradition. Everybody is worried.

Village elders said life is difficult. They said people don’t want to stay back and suffer. There is no road and electricity. The Gewog has about 450 households. Some use solar power for lighting.

Smoky wood fed kitchen is what keeps fire burning. Those who remained in the village are mostly old. They are the ones providing porter services to civil servants and officials visiting Lauri. The Gup said people are paid but most of what is earned is spent on the way.

Because life is difficult people have moved out of the village. This has made the life of the ones that remain in the village difficult. People said when your neighbor is away then you need to contribute extra labour force when required. For instance abled-men are already working on the Lauri road construction, which was delayed.

People in the village also contribute both in cash and kind performing tshechu and other local activities.

For an occasional visitor the trail to Lauri can be tiring and exciting at the same time. But for those living here transporting essentials for days crossing rivers and hills is not at all easy. The hope for a road to ease the burden is still under construction. If it takes more time and something is not done urgently, the number of houses under lock and key is only going to increase.

1 Comment for “Journey to Lauri”

  1. Drunk

    If the story is true, 100% Paliamentarians of SJ do need to think before 2013.

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