Preserving Tradition at Langthel in Trongsa
To preserve tradition and also to help poor people in remote area of the country, Tarayana Foundation has introduced many projects under two gewogs of Trongsa Dzongkhag.
Phuntsho Wangmo, Supervisor of the Project said, Monpa community is the most remote place in Trongsa. Although Monpa is the origin of the Bhutanese they lack information and communication of the modern world, more over they are economically backward.
Knowing that in the year 2003 Her Majesty the Queen mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck introduced different types of project in Langthel to make Monpa communi- ties more comfortable and also to create equality among the Bhutanese.
The Project has given an opportunity to many poor people to create self sufficiency.
Of the many projects Phuntsho mentioned two which are prominent in Langthel. The traditional pot making and turmeric powder making (Youngka) located below Gup office has employed six villagers from Monpa community.
In traditional pot making, three Monpas are trained and employed. They are provided with quarter, machineries, raw materials and even transportation and marketing of their products are done by the Tarayana Foundation. Employee can make pots as much as they can and price their pots ac- cording to its size.
Twenty five year old Guen Dema eldest of three sibling said, although she cannot work full time in pot making, she earns a good profit during occasions like Tarayana Trade show and also during local festivals.
Despite facilities, Guen Dema even got chance to visit several places like Kolkata, Thimphu and Paro where she have never been before. “I was born in remote place and never thought of reaching such beautiful places before.”
She said that being an eldest in the family, she doesn’t get full time to make pot “if I spend full time then it will be profitable.” “What I need is sample,” out of mud she is expert to make spoon, plate, glass, container, bottle, pot, cups, and Jamjee. “I wish I had a sister who can stay with my two old parents so that I can work full time in pot making.” said Guen.
There are also challenges she faces in pot making. “pots should be burned to dry but while burning many breaks down.” Guen said. Transporting of the product is also challenging for her. “I need to be very careful during transportation.”
As of now she didn’t received any complaints from her customers. “It’s my second year working in this field and I don’t have any complaint so far.”
Turmeric powder production, another project of Tarayana has employed 5 Monpas. For this machineries and Asian plant seed is provided by Tarayana. Project has also given them land for the plantation.
Supervisor, Phuntsho said, people are not taking interest in this farm. The reason she said is because most the people now are not aware of these local product. “I am informing some people I interact with but production is also low now” she said.
“Monpa people are very lucky, if they know how to grape the opportunities, they can make enormous difference in their leaving standard. But people are not that aware of importance of Kidu granted by Her Majesty the Queen mother.” She said.
She is now planning to explore the market with the people working in the project.