… 𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒐𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆 𝒄𝒍𝒂𝒅, 𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒑𝒊𝒓𝒊𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒗𝒐𝒍𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒎, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒗𝒂𝒍𝒖𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒗𝒊𝒄𝒆, 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒈𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒄 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚
Unparalleled volunteerism and contributions are well-known among Desuups. On June 30, 2021, desuups were summoned to help the police following an unfortunate landslide near Torobari that claimed two lives. This is just one example of disaster responses the desuups are engaged. They were also seen containing fire when the historic Wangdue Dzong was engulfed into flames.
“More than 145 desuups in total have basic firefighting skills currently and will be deployed for efficient firefighting approach during forest fires,” said Sisir Chhetri, Officer on Special Duty.
During any events or celebrations, one can likewise see the orange-clad volunteers playing vital roles, for instance, crowd controlling to ensure that the celebrations are orderly managed. Their presence always brings much reassurance to the event-goers.
On October 9, 2020, more than 15,000 monks and devotees have attended the month long Kuenkhyen Kabum Jaklung, (Oral Transmission) at Kuensel Phodrang, Thimphu, presided by His Holiness the 70th Jekhenpo, Trulku Jigme Choedra and over 250 desuups served and managed the crowd ensuring smooth conduct.
Kinga, a devotee from Haa, said, “I am thankful to desuups for providing save atmosphere by managing queues effectively and for serving tea and snacks. It is a gigantic assistance to the police.”
Additionally, the Centenary Farmer Market (CFM) refurbishment is being carried out by desuups to improve the display and to create a welcoming atmosphere for both vendors and customers. Both floors were following building renovations. Along with the refurbishment, they plan to make as many improvements as possible for the advantage of the vendors, including the introduction of new amenities like sitting areas, cafes, restrooms, good drinking water, proper drainage, and parking. During the renovation, Kaja Throm fills in as the vendor’s replacement. Kaja throm was primarily created by them for the CFM vendors so that they wouldn’t be left out for even a day.
Desuups played an instrumental role during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country’s success of managing the pandemic can be profusely accredited to their selfless service. They assisted the Royal Government to successfully address its various difficulties effectively. “They serve to the best of their ability across the country not only to protect the citizens against the pandemic, yet in addition ensuring that each household gets all their essential items at their door step,” said in unison the residents of Thimphu, Paro, and Zhemgang.
Other than that, desuups are also stationed at borders and patrolling along the areas to keep the nation safe. Currently 679 De-suup volunteers are serving along the borders, 24 from Thimphu rest are locally deployed.
Desuups are deployed all parts of the country for varied proposes which include not only patrolling but gewogs and dzongkhags projects. “On a daily basis, we have more than 4190 desuups being deployed at various parts of the country,” said the Officer on Special Duty.
Almost 40 desuups are deployed on daily basis at the hospital to give their guidance and support to patients and health staff. Chencho Nima, who went for his eye examination at Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital, remarked in appreciation, “I was really dazzled with the desuups. Their sense of discipline to patients was astonishing. Moreover, they remind people to observe health protocols.”
Desuups were also there for National Accelerated Dog Population Management (NADPM) and Rabies Control Program (RCP) partnering with the government, providing critical manpower strength, in this national endeavor of realizing the royal vision in the most humane way of a Bhutan free of dog related problems under the National Accelerated Dog Population Management and Rabies Control Program.
Trashi Yangtse dzongkhag has accomplished 100 percent sterilization of free-roaming dogs within their jurisdictions in fulfillment of the conditions and field validation process completed on December 25, 2022. A total of 1141 free-roaming dogs were sterilized during the entire campaign.
They also volunteered at landscaping and beautification work at the welcome gate. The task was successfully completed in collaboration with the Department of Forest, Department of Road, Thimphu City, Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), Department of Tourism and the local community on September 13, 2022.
Besides that, on August 15, 2022, 150 desuup volunteers were deployed along the expressway to paint the road divider.
The road widening works of more than seven-kilometer Kurizam-Gyalpoizhing national highway was completed by the Desuung National Service Road Construction Pilot Project. The road used to be narrow and filled with potholes. And highlighting the risks due to these conditions, the daily commuters wanted the road widened and blacktopped. Thus, the one-year road widening project was completed on December, 2022.
Kinley Wangchuk, a taxi driver said, “The road is now widened and is easy for two vehicle to pass through.” This road is a part of the vital network that connects five eastern Dzongkhags to the growing economic hubs of Gyalposhing and Nanglam towns and further on to the vast Indian market.
An initiative of the Desuung National Service in collaboration with the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry engaged around 2,000 desuups for plantation of a million fruit trees was completed.“A Million Fruit Tree Plantation initiatives could transit swiftly from a project for family consumption to making Bhutan a ‘fruitful’ country within the next 5 years fostering food security as well as opening avenues for the commercial market”, said the officer on special duty.
On August 31, 2022, desuung signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Druk Hydro Energy Limited to engage desuups for the construction of head works complex of the 32 megawatt Yungichu Hydro Power Project in Maedtsho, Lhuentse. The head works complex, which is expected to be completed in 763 days, includes intake structure, de-slitter and silt flushing channel, weir and temporary diversion work. At the peak construction stage, 80 desuups are expected to be deployed for the project.
The Department of Tourism (DOTr) has been collaborating with Desuung Takshel Program to undertake waste management (awareness and cleaning campaign) and upgrade tourism amenities and services. The Desuung Takshel Program was launched on July 24, 2022 from Taktshang base with inception of waste management and enhancement of Taktshang-Bumdrak trail. Later, the collaboration extended to waste management along Jomolhari and Druk path trek route including revamp of basic campsite facilities along Jomolhari trail and maintenance of restrooms along Phajodhing trail. The waste management program was also conducted in and around Thimphu city with the objective to address prevailing waste issue in the country. The engagement of desuups along Trans Bhutan trail and other site developments in the country can also be considered as the collaborated initiatives under Takshel Program.
Officials at DoTr said, “Through this continued collaboration, it has helped the department and the country in ensuring readiness of some of the popular tourism destinations to receive guests starting Tourism opening on September 23, 2022. At the same time, it has also helped desuung office to meaningfully engage desuups in the tourism transformation activities and serve Tsa-Wa-Sum whole heartedly and voluntarily as mandated by their position as a guardian of peace.”
“Although the continuity and future plans are not specifically discussed, similar to the activities undertaken in the first phase, waste management, construction, enhancement, operation and management of tourism amenities and services and assessment of tourist accommodations are seen as the probable activities for future collaboration,” they added.
Even though Bhutan is known to be water plentiful, issues with water accessibility keep on enduring across the country.
But this can be resolved once the water project in the district is completed. Therefore, desuups have left on a progression of water projects to guarantee that every individuals of the nation have a constant supply of clean water.
The Desuung National Service Water Projects are a series of projects to build vigorous water supply infrastructure across the nation for the benefit of the people. The project was started in response to His Majesty’s order that during the pandemic, there must be opportunities created for the youth of Bhutan to be part of important National projects which will have long-term influence for the future.
The Rawadrang-Menchu irrigation water project under Tongmijangsa Gewog is the third RGoB-De-suung National Service partnership project completed in Trashiyangtse Dzongkhang. The project was handed over to the community on January 14, 2023.
The project was completed on set duration engaging 70 De-suups with support from RBA, Dzongkhag Administration and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. It is reported to benefit 90 households covering 180 acres of irrigation land of Marshing and Pang chiwog. The project will boost the agriculture production and enhance their income.
As of now, 33 water projects have been completed in various locations in the country. There are 8 on-going projects.
Inspired by His Majesty the King’s encouragement calling on the youth to come forward to build our nation better and stronger out of the pandemic, the Office of the Desuung considered several options.
The construction of water supply for Fish Farming Project at Harachu, Athang Gewog Wangdue was launched on December 13, 2022, with the goal of ensuring a reliable water supply for the farm.
The project was implemented under partnerships project of Department of Livestock under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and Desuung Office. With support from the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA), Dzongkhag Administration, and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, it is expected to engage approximately 90 Desuups at the peak time to complete the project.
The 3 km of transmission length of 315 mm HDPE pipes is expected to complete in about five months. The other structure consists of intake, silt trap, 2 nos of distribution tank and 2 BPT. The project was estimated at a cost of Nu 32 million.
The epitome of volunteerism, men and women in orange uniforms and omnipresent in any event of disasters, charitable work and to help manage the crowd during festivals and celebrations is the theme of the Desuung training programme, the commitment to serve makes those in the line of duty special. It is because it takes selflessness, kindness, and compassion to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of individuals, communities, and the nation.