NFE instructor vs lay-monk for Thromde Ngotshab post

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Peky Samal
from Yangtse, Trashiyangtse

If she manages to garner major female support, 35-year-old Ugyen Lhamo, previously a Non-Formal Education (NFE) instructor for 13 years, will most probably win the Thromde Ngotshab post in Yangtse Thromde elections in Trashiyangtse.
Considering that there are more number of female voters in Yangtse (1,481) than male (1,397), and Ugyen Lhamo is quite a popular figure among the women in the gewog, she said her chances of winning the election is “fair enough though she’s not overtly confident”.
Her contender is Choten Dendup, 42, former lay-monk and farmer.
The two pitched themselves to the audience who had gathered to witness the zomdu at the Trashiyangtse gewog center on Monday with several pledges.
Choten Dendup promised that he would initiate plantations in the town area to promote and conserve the natural environment, and maintain the town’s cleanliness, sanitation and hygiene especially by facilitating the regular function of municipal garbage trucks and proper garbage disposal. He also said that he would try to provide continuous supply of drinking water.
“I will protect the Chorten Kora from the river by building a levee,” he added.
Further, he pledged a proper bus parking and addressing of bus timing issues so that commuters reach their destination on time.
He ended by saying that “the people should judge wisely whom they would elect based on the candidates’ capabilities”.
As Ugyen Lhamo stood up at her turn, she seemed a bit diffident at first, but gathered steam as she made it clear in no uncertain terms that she was contesting because it’s high time people recognize that women can deliver, too.
“The Fourth Druk Gyalpo said that it’s not a question of not being able to do, it’s a case of whether you are willing or not!” she declared empathically.
She said if people do not come forward to support women now, women empowerment might remain a far-fetched dream.
Ugyen Lhamo pledged to make Trashiyangtse an attractive tourist destination to boost the local economy. She also stressed on town cleanliness, which she would ensure through proper garbage collection and disposal, 100% water supply connectivity, and roads where places still remain to be connected.
Ugyen Lhamo also said that she would install a flood alert siren system in Yangste, which lies adjacent to the Kholongchhu.
“The biggest problem I see in Yangtse is soil denudation, which I will try to solve,” she promised adding that she would serve the community with “more passion and dedication than she did as a NFE instructor for 13 years”.
Dema, a woman in the audience, said that her support lies with Ugyen Lhamo because she is a “capable” woman.
Another woman, 29-year-old Karma Deki also feels she should vote for Ugyen Lhamo to show support for women who till now has been “falsely deemed” the weaker sex.
Meanwhile, Pema Gyeltshen, 65, was of the opinion that when it comes to confidence and authority, Choten Dukpa fares better than his female contender but Ugyen Lhamo has the advantage of a secular education and knowledge.
There are a total of 2,878 registered voters in Yangste Gewog.
Apart from the four Thromdes: Thimphu, Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar, the 13 remaining Thromdes will elect Thromde Ngotshabs instead of Thromde Theumis but their duties and responsibilities will remain the same.