Goongloen Gongma Lt. General Batoo Tshering was the chief guest 

Fair: Goongloen Gongma Lt. General Batoo Tshering attended the 54th Indian Military Training Team’s (IMTRAT) Raising Day in Haa yesterday.

A mela (fair) is also being held to mark the Raising Day.

The IMTRAT mela is one of the most-awaited annual events in the dzongkhag. People from Haa and the neighbouring dzongkhags like Thimphu and Punakha flocked to the fair for shopping and to watch the various programmes by students and IMTRAT personnel.

Spectators had gathered early at the venue and the crowd kept growing.

Cultural programmes by students showcased the rich cultural and ethnic diversity.

Dignitaries from the Royal Government to Bhutan and India also attended the Raising Day.

IMTRAT officials said that the IMTRAT mela reinforces and strengthens the strong bond between Bhutan and India. Officials said they were “humbled and privileged” by the presence of Goongloen Gongma and the “beautiful people” of Bhutan.

During the programme that lasted for two and a half hours, the spectators were entertained with various cultural and martial arts programmes by students and military personnel.

However, one of the most spectacular events, sky diving, could not be performed due to technical problems.

Students from Ugyen Dorji Central School demonstrated taekwondo skills, while IMTRAT officials performed various military arts and musical shows.

A wide variety of household goods and handicraft items were among the biggest attractions at the mela.

IMTRAT was established in Bhutan in 1962. IMTRAT provides pre-course training to the officers of RBA and RBG before sending them to India for specialised training.

MB Subba | Haa