The commemorative dream project - to build Menchari into GNH Model Village was launched on 15th December, 2015, since then the village has been striving to become a better community besides living in a thatched bamboo huts roofed with banana leaves, poor hygiene, nutrition, poor health and sanitation, high rates of alcoholism, low morale, poor saving culture and no diversified income source except from the off farm work. GNH in tangible is what the farmers are in dire state to feel.
Nevertheless, the villagers never lost their hopes besides all the challenges. Indeed they have accomplished numerous things just in eight months:
• 23 households now have proper toilets;
• Constructed separate poultry sheds;
• Decreased rate of alcoholism;
• Improved saving habits;
• Improved consciousness and realized individual shared responsibility;
• Improved organic agriculture activities, thus increasing food self-sufficiency; and
of all, people have improved their health (physical and mental), social and ecological harmony, becoming economically and politically vibrant - enabling them to make mindful choices of their lives for sustainable and collective well-being.
Currently, SJI is in the midst of facilitating planned activities of the community which includes construction of farm road, building eco- friendly model house, marketing shed etc.
We thank our interns (youths) from Gaeddu College of Business Studies and College of Natural Resources who were the first to immerse into the village and made a tremendous contribution towards building the dream of GNH-Model Village by living and working with the farmers for more than a month.
SJI sincerely thank all the donors; Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), Bhutan Center for Media and Democracy (BCMD), Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan (RICB), Maitri Trust Fund, Austrian Coordination Office(ACO) and TomKat Foundation for their generous support. Our partners; the Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag administration, Orong gewog administration and Center for Appropriate Technology-Jigme Namgyal Engineering College for rendering their tireless support and assistance in realizing our common goal.