Monday, January 23, 2017


The Rotary Peace Fellowship is a highly coveted scholarship for which there is enormous competition at a global level.  If you are able to win one of the hundred scholarships on offer, you go beyond merely securing a seat in one of the top world universities to pursue a Masters degree - you will be making a statement about yourself - that you are a person of substance capable enough to compete and win among the very best in the world.

In our quest towards humanitarian service, the Rotary Club of Thimphu embraces three core values - Education, Health and Agriculture. Of the three, we believe that education is KEY. It makes citizens conscientious and inculcates a sense of responsibility towards the environment, practice healthy living and responsible behavior. Education helps unravel some of life’s most intriguing mysteries.

It is our hope that atleast one Bhutanese would win one Rotary Peace Fellowship a year. In our endeavor to help you do so, we have enlisted the help of Bhutan’s own Rotary Scholar - Ms. Pem Chuki Wangdi. She is a recipient of the 2014-2015 Rotary Peace Fellowship that helped her pursue a Masters Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia.

At the invitation of the The Rotary Club of Thimphu, Ms. Pem will be returning home for a brief while to speak at the Club’s international Conference scheduled for mid February, 2017. During her short stay in Bhutan, she has agreed to host a Questions & Answers Session - to meet and help aspiring Bhutanese applicants to the Rotary Peace Fellowship. During the session, she will answer all your questions and guide you in making your application process less tedious.

Those of you who may be interested, please register (with your email & mobile number) for the session at: 

We will notify you of the time and place of the session in due course. The date for the session is fixed for:

 20TH FEBRUARY, 2017 

In the meantime please go through the websites the links of which are given in my Blog below - and read up everything so that you know where you need help.


Sunday, January 22, 2017


Once again the Rotary Club of Thimphu is happy to inform of the announcement of the Rotary Peace Fellowship for 2018. Please obtain further information from the following links:

The Application

Please use the following resources, in the application process:

Information on eligibility requirements:

The steps to completing the application:

10 January, 09:00-09:30

Applying for Rotary Peace Fellowship 
Applying for the Rotary Peace Fellowship: Tips From Current Fellows
24 January, 09:00-09:30

How to strengthen your application
7 February, 09:00-09:30

Aspiring applicants have until 31 APRIL, 2017 to submit applications to:

          The Rotary Club of Thimphu
          RSPN Building
          Below WWF/Ministry of Health office

          Telephone    :    02 323242
          Mobile         :    77190182
          eMail           :
          Website        :

Please read through the materials available at the above links - to understand the process of application. Please ensure that your application is with us by the dateline so that we may forward the same to the District, for onward submission to the RI in the US.

If you need help with navigating through the application process, please talk to Ms. Pem Chuki Wangdi at her following email address. Pem is a Rotary scholar and a recipient of the Rotary Peace Fellowship so she understands. She has volunteered to help out. She can be reached at:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Yet Again, My Time For Anguish

On December 1, 2016, I had blogged on “Something Has Gone Seriously Wrong Somewhere” ( I moaned about our domestic electricity tariff being way out of the reach of most of us poor fellows in this country.

Yet again, my time for anguish is here. On the morning of 6th January, 2017 I got my electricity bill for the month of December, 2016. The two bills (don't ask me why I am getting two bills) collectively amounted to nearly Nu.9,000.00 (by the way I use only two radiating room heaters, one refrigerator, one freezer, a TV, one washing machine, a water boiler, a rice cooker and home lighting - and NOT A SINGLE GEYSER). In certain sections of the Bhutanese society, this sum is enough to feed a family of twelve, for over two moths - with ease.

This is truly appalling. Even worst, it has been announced that electricity tariff will be increased even further, as of this month.

We, more accurately, the government and the big time thinkers and planners should hang their heads in shame - that we boast of being a big time producer of hydro-electricity and yet, electricity as a energy source is being priced out of the reach of the common people.

The world of the Bhutanese has gone a little quirky.

We say we produce so much electricity and yet, we cannot afford it. Infact, in some months we have to import electricity from India.

We say we have 80% forest coverage and yet, the wildlife who has 4 times bigger land holding finds it necessary to invade the fields of the poor farmers who have only 20% share of the country’s land. In other parts of the world, humans encroach into wildlife habitat - in Bhutan the reverse is true. And yet we have rampant wildlife predation. Something is not quite right here.

We recognize that large-scale incidences of Goongtongs is a serious problem with long term consequences on the country, and yet, we do nothing to amend the antiquated laws that cause it. The planners and thinkers are clueless of the reverse multiplier effect that Goongtongs will have on the country, over the long haul.

Increasingly, large swaths of traditional farm lands are converted into cardamom fields and hazelnut plantations, severely impacting food production. We forget that it was the unchecked cardamom plantations that caused the governemnt to implement the country's first nationalization drive in the late 1970's. I am told that the hazelnut project is now in direct conflict with the country's "organics only" farming aspirations.

We say we are champions of environmental conservation, and yet, we think nothing of scarring the landscape for hundreds of miles; dig roads that we do not need, and indiscriminately fell trees that have taken centuries to grow and mature.

There is an urgent need to introspect and realize that we have become a society that is incapable of putting our minds and hearts into what we are doing. Our hearts do not seem to be where our minds are. We are glib talkers - but there seem little understanding that talk has to be followed through with action. We talk simply because there is a need for talk - some do not even understand what they are talking.

One has to wonder how long we can go on like this.