The Village Children in Bhutan is an entirely non-profit charitable organization that was started by Mr. Ganga Ram Bhandari, currently working as an assistant accountant for the Bhutan Civil Service in Gelephu Dungkhag. It was in 2008, during his first service posting in Panbang, that Mr. Bhandari became aware of the need for a project such as TVCIB in that sub-district, while he had the opportunity to study the hardship of the isolated Khengpa people living there, discovering that the people in this region were quite backward in terms of social and economic development. He saw that life was very difficult for these people, who even until then were living in small bamboo huts without electricity, without roads, and without mobile or telephone networks. It was like discovering people living in another century.
Since then, such facilities have come to the region: the government has brought in water pipes for them and either electricity or solar energy. The construction of roads is rapidly and suddenly making the 21st century a part of these people's reality. Like a good father, the government has provided these things out of its wisdom, but there are still some basic needs to be met from a compassion point of view to help the Khengpa people integrate into modern Bhutanese society. One obvious difficulty is the fact that because of their previous isolation, they speak a different language (Khengpa or Zhemgang) and need to learn the national language (Dzongkha) that is used in schools, along with English.
Help TVCIB Help the Poorest in Bhutan (the people of the isolated Kheng region)
Bhandari says, Things will grow better gradually but one has to make the changes by taking responsibility for someone or somebody or something. Everything is interdependent in life, and in this place people still need basic help and support from someone or each other there to improve their quality of life. Most of the people have very rudimentary housing, living in bamboo huts that give them problems during monsoon. The land in this region is hard to cultivate and they don't have cash crops. They have no business hub in the village, but they have beautiful children to look after - children in need of nutritious food, a closer attention to their health and a gateway system to ensure that they can benefit from Bhutan's generous education system. Presently, a vast percentage of the children in this remote area do not attend school because the busing system does not reach this far and their parents are unable to afford appropriate clothes and footwear. Helping the Khengpa people has become my passion and life purpose and I sincerely hope that coming up with the TVCIB project will do something for them.
Although the public schools and health facilities are in fact free in Bhutan, the poor parents still need help to pay basic fees and to buy the school dress (uniforms). TVCIB aims to establish a help center for all needy ones in the village, including poor, elderly and disabled people, but the daily activities for the Khengpa Olay Care Centre that we are proposing will consist primarily in child day-care with an accent on preparing the Khengpa children for school.
Mr. Ganga Bhandari (on the right, wearing a gho, the national traditional dress for men) is seen here donating footwear to Bjoka school children. Click on the PDF link to download the project annex that shows other activities started by Mr. Bhandari before the official opening of TVCIB.