An old Basic Health Unit (BHU) in Langchenphu gewog, Jomotshangkha dungkhag, in Samdrup Jongkhar, which remained vacant for close to three decades is being repaired to be used as Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) center.
Langchenphu Gup, after drawing guidance and support from the villagers, proposed upgrading the old BHU as an ECCD center to the dzongkhag. The proposal was then submitted to the education ministry, which approved the proposal and provided Nu 900,000 with support from UNESCO.
“The emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become. That is why understanding the need to invest in very young children is so important,” an education official said.
Gup Guman Singh Gaylal said the old BHU was established in 1985 and served for 5 years. But after the 1990s problems it was abandoned. Few years later, a new BHU was constructed in Jomotshangkha Throm and people walked a kilometer to avail the services.
“Like many others, I wondered why the old BHU was left vacant for 27 years and why didn’t anyone think of restoring it,” he said. It was only discovered in 2012 when the National Cadastral Survey was carried out that the land on which BHU was built is in gewog’s Thram and does not belong to the government.
Emphasizing the importance of early childhood development, he said,” Children’s early experiences, the bonds they form with their parents and their first learning experiences deeply affect their future welfare”.
The Gup said children in the gewog are using the gewog’s Multi-Purpose Hall but it is not convenient because often times they have meetings
Villagers are very happy with the project. Kezang, a mother of three sons, they needed a separate early learning center because the Multi purpose hall is not really comfortable place to learn with all the materials and equipment.
Another mother whose daughter is 3 years old said she feared her daughter might harm herself while playing in an area with lot of materials and equipment.