The Tarayana Foundation, a public benefit organisation, is celebrating 20 years since it was established. To celebrate the occasion, Tarayana beneficiaries from across the country have gathered in Thimphu to participate in its annual fair this year. Her Majesty Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, the founding president of the organisation, graced the opening of the fair today.
More than a dozen stalls have been set up at the fair by participants, all of whom are beneficiaries of the foundation. The three-day fair will showcase local cuisine, textiles and other local handmade products.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Her Majesty Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck shared some history on how and why the Tarayana Foundation was founded.
“Had it not been His Majesty The King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Tarayana would not have materialised. His Majesty encouraged me to look into the welfare of our rural people. It was my duty to embark on journeys into rural Bhutan where I saw many in need of help and I wanted to do something to address the need and that’s when Tarayana was born. I have to tell you in these 20 years, I have gone back and I have seen the changes that were made to the lives of our rural populations in the very far-flung areas of Bhutan.”
More than 60 people from 11 districts are taking part in the fair.
“We have come from Zhemgang to showcase our products since being in a remote area, no one notices our products. So, with the help of Tarayana, we can showcase our products,” said Yeshi Dorji, a participant from Zhemgang.
“Due to the help of Tarayana, we can showcase our locally produced edible goods. Because of this fair, it also helps us in doing business. For that, we would like to thank Tarayana Foundation,” said Dorji Eden, a participant from Monggar.
“The main objective of the fair is to let our rural people showcase their artisan skills and also to introduce in marketing place,” said Tshering Yuden, programme coordinator of Tarayana Foundation.
Founded in 2003, the Tarayana Foundation has since carried out various activities to help those in rural parts of the country. The foundation has provided skills enhancement training to more than 50,000 people including mostly women.
Under its housing improvement project, it has constructed over 2,500 houses for those without proper shelter.
The Tarayana Foundation has several other projects all aimed at helping the needy and improving the livelihoods of people in rural communities.