(24# Bhutan) Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck: Why she kicks ass
- She is a former queen of Bhutan and first wife of former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who is married to four sisters, who are all entitled to be called queen.
- She has delivered numerous keynote addresses both at home and overseas on issues relating to poverty reduction, environment preservation and social transformation of women.
- She created numerous programmes to improve the quality of life of the Bhutanese people especially in the rural areas through the creation of the Tarayana Foundation. The Foundation seeks to help those experiencing financial difficulties through housing schemes, scholarships, training, production and marketing of rural products and financial support. In consultation with the community members, Tarayana has identified several projects including cultivation of medicinal, aromatic and dye plants like mountain indigo, turmeric and ginger to increase cash income. Currently Tarayana works in 40 of the remotest villages of Bhutan. As the President of Tarayana Foundation Her Majesty continues to undertake these journeys into the remote communities of Bhutan to assess the impact of Tarayana’s work as well as to explore new areas of intervention.
- She has also been the Chief Patron to the Ministry of Agriculture since 1999 as the vast majority of the Bhutanese are farmers with many working under harsh climatic and geographic conditions.. Many of the beneficiaries of grants from the Tarayana Foundation are women, men and children she encountered during her rural tours undertaken on foot.
- She is also an accomplished author and a keen supporter of literary works, particularly among youth. She has sponsored and edited a number of books on poetry and essays on issues of relevance to the country. She is the author of “Rainbows and Clouds” a story of Yab Ugen Dorji (the Queen’s Father), which is not only a gripping family saga, but an illuminating window on Bhutanese culture, society and history. Her second book “Treasures of the Thunder Dragon – A Portrait of Bhutan” is a blend of personal memoir, history, folklore and travelogue.
- She is the Chief Patron of “Mountain Echoes: a Literary Festival”, being organised by the Indo-Bhutan Friendship Association that brings together renowned national and international authors and poets. The festival is a successful forum for exchange in literature and a celebration of the two cultures of India and Bhutan.
- Her keen interest in environment preservation has led her to support National Parks, Biological Corridors and programmes to protect the environment. Great care is taken to incorporate environmental conservation in all the projects supported by Tarayana.
- She is also the Founder and Patron of the Folk Heritage Museum in the capital, Thimphu. The museum showcases traditional folk knowledge, crafts and way of life and has become a popular site for local and foreign visitors. The Druk Wangyel Chortens in Dochula, which consists of 108 stupas and a temple was conceived and constructed by Her Majesty. Her Majesty commissioned the construction of the Lungchutse Chorten, and restoration of the Lungchutse monastery. The resoundingly successful Smithsonian Folk Life Festival of Bhutan in Washington DC in 2008 was organized under the guidance and patronage of Her Majesty.
- She is the Honorary President of Sherubtse College, Bhutan’s oldest and most respected institution of higher learning and takes a keen interest in youth and gender issues.
(I am Ligaya)
Owner of the Pinoy-Culture blog
animist. polytheist. 21 years old. new yorker. artist. crafter. nature worshiper. storyteller. anime and manga lover. bookworm. works with herbs. tagalog & akeanon (filipin@). hilot. child of the earth. daughter of Kaptan and Magwayen.
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