Neten Dorji | Trashiyangtse

A student of Doksum Primary School in Trashiyangtse, Karma Yoezer, walked four kilometres to school every day.  He carried his own pack lunch.

But with the school benefiting from a feeding programme from this year, he eats breakfast and lunch at school. “I don’t have to eat cold lunch,” he said.

Rice, egg, potatoes and dal (lentils) are served.

The school principal, Phurpa, said the feeding programme benefits parents and students.  It is the last school in the dzongkhag to receive the programme.

Doksum PS is one of the 29 schools in Trashiyangtse to get free meals

Trashiyangtse’s deputy chief dzongkhag officer, Rinchen Phuntsho, said the feeding programme would enhance students’ health.

He said of the 29 schools in the dzongkhag, Doksum Primary School, is the last school to get the free meal.

The school feeding programme is one of the government’s pledges.

Parents are happy with the programme, as they do not have to cook for their children.

“We’re thankful to the government for providing two meals for breakfast and lunch,” said a parent, Sangay Yangden. “Now with the school feeding programme, they can walk to school and eat from there.”

She said they could now focus more on farm work. “In the past, it was very difficult to provide children with good meals since we have to attend other daily chores.”

Another parent, Tashi Yangchen, said children refuse to eat early. “Now they can eat when they reach school.”

The Food Corporation of Bhutan supplies rice, salt, oil and cheese, while local people supply vegetables.

Meanwhile, the programme benefits 4,262 students in Trashiyangtse dzongkhag today.   Except for Trashiyangtse Lower Secondary School, all schools provide lunch to students.