Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Bhutan : Television: changing lives of rural Bhutanese

January 25: Many people now have access to television with the installation of television sets in 172 geogs. It has not only helped to keep them updated on the happenings in the country but also enabled them to watch live broadcast of important events like the election, coronation and the recent Parliament discussion. The television sets were installed under a UNDP project funded by the Japanese government.

One of the beneficiaries of the UNDP project, institutional and human capacity building of the Election Commission of Bhutan is Dechhenling geog in Pemagatshel. Under the project television sets were installed in 172 geogs to disseminate information on election and democracy through TV. The remaining geogs have cable connections.

Our reporter in Samdrupjongkhar Pema Samdrup says the people are reaping the benefits of the project. One example is the live coverage of the recent parliament session on BBS. He said people from nearby villages come to the geog center, where the Television set is installed, to witness the Parliament discussions which was broadcast live on BBS TV.

Some people told our reporter that they felt as if they were actually present in the National Assembly and Council halls as the discussion were taking place. They said in the past they could only listen to the discussions but now they can also watch the discussions in the two houses.

The Gup of the geog said during the coronation the small room geog center was packed with people. He said people living in far off places came with pack lunch. He said they are now building a multipurpose hall and the TV set will be moved there to accommodate more people.


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