Dr.Saamdu Chetri

Counsellor, teacher, advocate, writer, compassionate and loving family man, mindfulness practioner


Sun Sign


Three things people don’t know about you?

Most humble background, compassionate and forgiving, likes to socialise

What’s your greatest fear?

Increasing ignorance of human beings

What is your greatest achievement?

Instituting good governance system and GNH Centre in Bhutan

High point of your life?

Escaped death four times

Low point of your life

To superannuate at 60 and leave the GNH Centre

Which living person do you most admire?

PM Narendra Modi

Who is your favorite fictional hero?


Who are your favorite authors?

Thich Nhat Hanh, Vandana Shiva, Bruce Lipton, Micho Kaku, Sidney Sheldon

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

Papillon, the great escape , old path white clouds, the future of humanity, the biology of belief

Is there a book you love to reread?

Old path white clouds

What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?

Safar, Tarey Zamin Per, Three idiots, Lagan, Pretty Lady, I have not watched many

One Superpower you wish you had?

To uplift everyone from suffering

Your epitaph would read? /Last line in your biography would be?

May more Saamdu's be born

If you had a time machine to take you back to any country and any time period, where would you choose to be for your childhood, adolosent , adult life and silver years?

In Buddha's time period in India, 2522 years ago

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

Music and singing

Which book you wish you had written ?

The humble begining of a cowhearder boy

When and where do you write ?

In a year from Bhutan or China

Silence or music?


One phrase that you use most often?

With love, respect and gratitude

What’s your guilty reading pleasure?

Sidney Sheldon

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Put your heart and soul in every word to make it alive as you pen it down

A pligrim of love and compassion, Saamdu Chetri was born in a cowshed and holds a PhD in commerce. He is always eager to care and serve others. In his 35 years of career, he served private, development, and government sectors in Bhutan, always in leading new positions, among others, Head of Good Goverance at PMO and Executive Director of GNH Centre. He has travelled globally giving talks on GNH and happiness. Among dozens of talks in important institutions, he also gave GNH talks at British Paliament, APPG, the House of Commons and the Senate of Philippines. He was fondly quoted by BBC as a Happiness Guru. After retirement in Oct 2017, he became a GNH and minfulness teacher at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India.

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Saamdu Chetri was the first Bhutanese government graduate to serve in private sector development for six years from August 1982. Later he served in Bhutan's development work with and on the Swiss inputs from June 1988. He served as the Officer on Special Duty for the first democratic party during its formation in Feb 2007 and later as its Campaign Manager which formed the first democratic government. From April 2008, for five years, he was in the cabinet of the PM, instituting and heading the good governance division. He was instituted as a founding member of the Gross National Happiness Centre Bhutan and ran it for five years till superannuation in Nov 2017. Since Dec 2007, he has worked as a visiting faculty at the Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness, IIT Kharagpur. He is affectionately referred to by BBC as Happiness Guru. He is an inspirational speaker having spoken at dozens of various significant institutions, forums and conferences, among others at the British Parliament, the House of Commons APPG and the Senate of the Philippines. He is a recipient of the Lord Buddha Peace Award from Samata Shitya Academy in 2016.

Why Saamdu Chetri?

Saamdu Chetri, born in a cowshed, carries a vast life experience from near-death to becoming a practising Buddhist yogi. He believes in equality, compassion, and humanity to be a transformational leader, and is a strong advocate of environmental and gender issues.


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