What is a vibrant village? What does it take to create one? Can a village vibrancy prevent and curb rural-urban migration?
A village is vibrant when it has happy and content people. A village is vibrant where content people help each other. A vibrant village is where everyone is involved in or concerned with building a strong community. Such a village is connected with a well-maintained road that provides farmers with access to the outside world.
A vibrant village grows its food and has no need to import anything from outside. Such a village booms with economic activities and here farmers look beyond subsistence farming. That is not to inject greed; it is rather, to encourage hard-working people to work harder. These farmers have at their service useful and modern farming tools to ease their work on the farms. In a vibrant village, farmers have the right to harvest their crops without having to share them with wild animals.
A vibrant village has adequate and modern day facilities. Electric or solar fencing is one important feature of a vibrant village and keeps wild animals away from the human activities. It reaps the benefits of the country’s financial institutions and triggers entrepreneurial skills. Such a village boasts of hard working people.
May our villages pick up some threads of a vibrant village and retain people on the farms. May today’s gungtong (empty households) start refilling with people tomorrow and let the walls echo with familiar laughter once again.
By Nawang P. Phuntsho
The writer works for READ Bhutan, an NGO and lives in Thimphu.