Business woman Tshelthrim Dukar from Samdrup Jongkhar is the lone female upcoming National Council (NC) aspirant candidate from Samdrup Jongkhar.
Tshelthrim Dukar, 38, and a mother of two is from Batsung, Wooling village under Orong gewog in Samdrup Jongkhar.
Tshelthrim Dukar had always been keen to keen to participate in the council elections but this is her first time contesting. She started her career as a public servant in Bhutan Broadcasting Services (BBS) where she served as human resource officer for seven years.
Currently she owns a travel and ticketing agent. She has a Bachelors in Science from Sherubtse College.
Tshelthrim Dukar said that she is interested in contesting the council elections because she believes in the power of sound legislation and polices which have both immediate and long-term impact on the country’s development.
“My decision to partake in the democratic process through contesting for council and not through a political party is primarily motivated by the idea of independence and not having to subscribe to an ideology of a political party, which oftentimes does not match with the ideology of an individual,” she said.
She said she expects to connect with voters and the people, hear out their stories, and present herself as a prospective candidate so that they can make an informed choice and vote for the most deserving candidate.
Further, she hopes that more women will participate in the political process and her contribution to this whole process would nudge them to make the best of opportunity.
“My preliminary assessment is very positive. I have a strong will and determination and am willing to work hard and learn,” she said.
According to her, her strengths include her upbringing in the village and the fact that she is rooted in her customs and traditions and is aware of community hardships.
“I come from a very humble family and I am the daughter of a farmer, who has experienced the hardships of rural life, battling poverty to dream big, work hard and getting where I am today,” she said.
She said she can connect and relate to the hardships and challenges faced by rural folks therefore she can lend a helping hand.
Talking about the challenges a woman candidate could encounter in the elections she said that although no abject gender discrimination exists in the country, in general terms, there is that stereotypical notion that women are not so good at taking up leadership roles.
“I am a strong believer that while there are institutions, plans and programs to encourage women, the best way to debunk this myth is to take courage and step into the game,” she said.
She also feels that more than any other areas, formulation of legislation and polices need the perfect partnership of men and women so that laws and policies respond to the different interests and needs of both men and women.
Tshelthrim Dukar believes that Samdrup Jongkhar has tremendous potential to develop into an economic hub like Phuentsholing.
“Through policy reviews and facilitating laws that would enable Samdrup Jongkar to harness its full economic potential, I would strive to elevate Samdrup Jonkhar to the status of an economic hub,” she said.
As of now, she is the only candidate from her gewog while the dzongkhag has around 10 candidates.
Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu