...for people's happiness.

Greetings! My name is Nima Tshering, and this is my personal page. I come from the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan sandwiched between India and China, where "Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product."

I was a Fulbright Scholar who graduated from University of Kansas, USA, with bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. I did my Masters in Engineering Management from University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

My backgrounds may be in engineering and management, but my passion has always been for "People's Welfare," continuously thinking about how to alleviate poverty innovatively and boost happiness of the people. I am now working as Zimpon Wongma to His Majesty the King of Bhutan(His Majesty's Representative for People's Welfare). I am also an Executive Committee Member of Tarayana Foundation, a non-profit organization helping the less fortunate in Bhutan. Besides, I serve as a Board Director on Bhutan Telecom Limited's Board with passion to empower people with information in a timely manner. In a small way, I strive to change the world for the better.

Poverty and Injustice, I strongly believe, are the twin root causes of all the "unhappiness" in the world, and "unhappiness" is the source of most of the problems in the world, from village conflicts to civil wars to conflicts between countries, from cultural conflicts to religious conflicts to political conflicts, from food crisis to fuel crisis to global economic crisis, or from village deforestation to city pollution to global climate change. When people are unhappy or when they have nothing to live for, they will not care for global problems. Solutions to Global Problems, therefore, lie in the "hearts" of the Global Citizens, especially the poor majority of the world. We need their genuine support and cooperation to fight any global problem. Neglecting their happiness will only enlarge any problem, not solve it. Therefore, the job of any true leader to solve any problem is to win the "hearts" of the people, genuinely. The people will then happily help solve the problem or at least prevent those problems created by the people. The fact is most of the world's problems are created by the people.

I am passionate about what I do. Whatever I do, I want to do it from the heart. I want to be voices of the "invisible" people.
I want to meet those who are "invisible" in our society and listen to their problems, their dreams, their hopes, and their fears in their own voices (both spoken and unspoken), and find a way to help them, with inspiration drawn from Our Beloved Kings. I am mindful of the fact that not everyone can speak, hear, see, walk, or even think. There are dumb, blind, lame, or even insane "invisible" people. And that is the challenge.

My Vision: A Bhutan free of poverty and injustice.

My Mission: To look for "invisible" people and find ways to help them.

My Philosophy: Think beyond yourself.

My Core Values: Passion, Humility, and Integrity. .

My Motto: "Work from the heart."

My Strategy: Build a network of like-minded people to change life one at a time. Together, we can change the world for the better.

Back to Bhutan to help with Gross National Happiness
By Maria Hand, New Zealand, University of Canterbury Magazine 2005, Volume 2, No. 1.

When Nima Tshering was seven years old his grandmother whispered a prayer for him before she died. She prayed that he would do well in life and be “somebody”.

When Tshering graduated in April with a Master of Engineering in Management from the University of Canterbury his grandmother's prayer was uppermost in his mind. “I feel her prayers are being answered. I have become the ‘somebody' of my grandmother's last prayer.”

Tshering is UC's only student from the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan , a country nestled between China and India which is seven times smaller than New Zealand and about six times smaller in population.

Tshering grew up in the remote village of Bemphu in south-western Bhutan with no roads, electricity or telephone lines. But despite these odds stacked against him Tshering has made “somebody” of himself because of his country's free education system. “ Bhutan 's Free Education has made all the difference. It has been my road to success, my guiding light to pursue my dreams and my communication line to share my dreams beyond boundaries.”

While Tshering had free education, it was far from on his doorstep. He began his schooling when he was eight years old and he had to walk three and a half hours each way to school. A typical school day would start with rooster's crow at 3.30am and by 4.30am he would begin his trek to school.

“The journey through jungle, mud, rain, and darkness six days a week for more than five years was a challenge of a lifetime.”

The humble scholar says that, despite all the risks, while education was free he believed it was “worth pursuing at any cost”. “Many people give up in the face of adversity and hardship but hard work does pay off someday and there is no short cut to getting educated.”

Throughout his schooling Tshering studied hard and topped exams from his own school right through to national exams. It was at high school that he started dreaming of going abroad to study. “From my village me and my sister were the first two kids to go beyond high school ever. It is not enough to work hard, you need to have the opportunity and you take that opportunity.”

Hard work paid off for Tshering when he was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study toward a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Kansas from 1998 to 2002.

After graduating in Kansas Tshering returned to Bhutan where he tutored His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck of Bhutan before joining his permanent job at the Department of Information Technology of Bhutan, where he worked for a year before coming to New Zealand 15 months ago.

Tshering won a New Zealand Agency for International Development Scholarship to undertake postgraduate study at UC.

His Master's project was to develop a strategic plan for the Tarayana Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established by Bhutan's monarch, which is responsible for supplementing and complementing the Bhutanese Government's efforts to alleviate poverty. With 32% of Bhutan 's population materially poor (earning under US$1 a day) poverty reduction is at the heart of every development strategy. “In Bhutan we measure not in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but in terms of Gross National Happiness (GNP). We take a very holistic approach.”

Tshering returned last month to his homeland to resume his government job and continue his “labour of love” for the Tarayana Foundation. He wants to use his qualifications to make the gross national happiness vision a reality.

Tshering believes when you do well you should benchmark your goal higher, so he looks on his graduation as just one more step on his “learning journey”.

“I would call it a huge milestone in my life. It's like Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Everest, it was a new height in his life but not the end of his life. It's similar for me, it's a huge milestone, but it's not the end.”

For those wanting to learn more about Bhutan , Tshering has donated a book to the University's Rare Books Collection. It is a signed copy of “Of Rainbows and Clouds”, written by the Queen of Bhutan Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, which Tshering says offers “an illuminating window on Bhutanese culture, society and history”. “I'd like this book to represent a symbol of further friendship between the peoples of the Land of the Long White Cloud (NZ) and the Land of the Peaceful Dragon ( Bhutan ).”



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