The construction of Pemagatshel’s first READ (Rural Education and Development) centre in Khothakpa village is underway.
The single-storey centre is being built by Druk Satair Corporation as part of its corporate social responsibility. The construction is expected to be completed in three months’ time after which READ will provide resources and inputs for the centre that will help empower the local community.
“The company has a budget of Nu one million for this project,” said Zangla Drukpa, the mines manager. Druk Satair will partner with the local community to make READ a sustainable centre.
Druk Satair also sponsored a tour of some residents of Khothakpa to Rongthung in Trashigang where READ has a centre to interact with the beneficiaries there and to learn how the centre worked sustainably.
“There was first the idea, but there wasn’t the fund. Druk Satair stepped in to fund a modest centre with furnishings,” said Shumar Gup Lepo. A 20-decimal land was purchased for the construction of the centre.
Khothakpa’s ORC will also be relocated near the READ centre which will help meet its objective of empowering rural people, especially women. Since the centre is located near a community primary school, it is expected to serve the needs of the school too.
“The people of Khothakpa are warming up to the idea of starting a tire repairing workshop as a venture to sustain the centre,” said Gup Lepo. Hundreds of trucks come to the mines to carry gypsum. A tire repairing workshop looks like a viable venture to take up.
“Since the centre is for us, we must come together to make it useful for the community. We will have to do what we can to make this happen,” said a resident of the village.
READ is an NGO which partners with rural communities to establish libraries and resource centres to transform poor communities. Once established, READ centres are owned by the communities from where resources, services and training are provided to the people. READ is based in the US.
READ centre in Pemagatshel will be second of its kind in eastern Bhutan.