Facility: Shema and Gangkha villages in Chapcha gewog, Chukha inaugurated a new READ center in a simple ceremony yesterday.

The villages are located about 35km away from Chukha dzongkhag and about 52km from Thimphu. A six-kilometre farm road connects the villages to the Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway.

The READ center has 3,000 books, an ICT section with computers, children’s section with educational toys, audiovisual section equipped with a television and a DVD player and women’s section that provides space for the community’s women to interact and discuss issues. The center also has a room for trainings and meetings.

Chukha dzongkhag tshogdu chairperson and Chapcha Gup Dorji Penjor, said, “The center will help increase the general awareness of what is happening in the other parts of the world.”

Shema-Gangkha school principal, NP Chamlagai, said that he is hopeful that the community youth, who are mostly school dropouts, will be able to engage themselves meaningfully at the center.

“The READ center has different books and this will complement our collection in the school library,” he said.

A class six student, Karma Choden wants to learn to use computer at the center. She has never heard of internet and wants to learn about it.

“But I like to read and our new center has many books,” she said.

READ Bhutan Country Director Karma Lhazom dedicated the center to the celebration of the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck and the National Reading Year.

A Singaporean, Mrs Kaori Zage and her family funded the center and the community contributed the land for the Center.

There are eight such centers in the country.

Tshering Palden