The National order of Merit Gold was awarded to 6 educators from the Ministry of Education, Royal University of Bhutan, and Royal Institute of Management, in recognition of their exemplary service to the nation in the field of education for excellence in leadership and management.
Apart from that seven individuals were also awarded the National Order of Merit, Gold for their varied contributions to Bhutan.
Lama Shenphen Zangpo
Lama Shenphen Zangpo was awarded the National Order of Merit, Gold, in recognition for his contributions in mentoring Bhutanese youth and helping substance abusers make positive changes in their lives.
Lama Shenphen Zangpo, 58, is a Buddhist Monk from Wales, who has worked with youth and substance abusers in Bhutan for over 7 years. He has counseled many youth, helped them enter rehabilitation programmes, and later find employment.
Harald N Nestroy
Harald Nestroy was awarded the National Order of Merit, Gold, in recognition of hisservicesto Bhutan.
Harald Nestroy, 77, the Executive Chairman of Pro Bhutan, Germany, is a retired German diplomat, who has been a longstanding friend of Bhutan since 1987. Pro Bhutan, Germany has assisted Bhutan in constructing health and education infrastructure and traditional structures, such as the Punakha Hospital, school for hearing-impaired students in Drugyel, and the Punakha Bazam.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit
Dr. Sanduk Ruit was awarded the National Order of Merit, Gold, in recognition of his services to Bhutan.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit, 61, is an internationally renowned eye-surgeon from Nepal, whose innovation in cataract surgery has enabled thousands of people across the world regain their eyesight. Dr. Sanduk has conducted modern cataract surgery and training in various parts of Bhutan since 2000, and has restored sight to hundreds of patients. Dr. Sanduk has also assisted in bringing HPV vaccines, which help prevent cervical cancer, for young girls in Bhutan.
Four Master Craftsmen
Four Master Craftsmen were also awarded the National Order of Merit, Gold, in recognition of their services to the nation, for preserving and promoting traditional crafts, and their contributions towards nation building and in defining the national identity.
Zopoen Rinchen, 60, from Tshekha, Punakha, has worked on iconic national monuments such as the Punakha Dzong, Paro Taktshang and Paro Dongkala, Phajoding, and Dochula Chorten, among many others. He also contributed immensely in the Chadri work during His Majesty’s Coronation in 2008.
Zopoen Naku, 78, from Gumkarmo, Punakha, has worked on iconic and important national monuments such as the Punakha Dzong, Taktshang, Trongsa Dzong, and Simtokha Dzong, among many others.
Dozop Chado, 74, from Rinchengang, Wangdue Phodrang, has worked on iconic national monuments such as the Decehencholing Phodrang, ThimphuDzong, Trongsa Dzong, Paro Taktshang, and Punakha Dzong, among many others.
Lhadrip Sonam Dorji, 60, from Tangsibji, Trongsa. His paintings can be seen at iconic national monuments such as Punakha Dzong,Talo Lhakhang, Sangchekhor Lhakhang, and Taktshang Monastery, among others.