While Bhutanese are considered citizens of the third world, a unique trait that makes us stand out is our feeling of compassion and solidarity to help and uplift our own kind
By Tashi Dendup
On September 8, a family made a desperate call for help to give a second lease of life to their young son who was paralyzed due to a spinal injury and required money to operate him.
The family shared of how their son, Phuntsho Wangdi a budding singer and a young man full of dreams, was now rendered in a wheelchair after the lower half of his body was paralyzed following a nasty bicycle accident in 2020.
According to the appeal letter, made via social media platforms by his parents and well-wishers, Phuntsho Wangdi was on the cusps of raising his career as singer after his participation in Druk Super Star following which he got numerous singing offers and even recorded songs which touched the hearts of many Bhutanese and music lovers.
However, fate had other plans for the young man as he met with a nasty accident in 2020 following which he was diagnosed as paralyzed from the waist down and was confined to a wheelchair since.
The appeal letter also shared that despite undergoing numerous surgeries, it is beyond scope of our medical facility to restore his bodily functions. His fingers are not under sense and needs a 24 hours attendant.
Nonetheless, the parents shared that after exploring medical facilities and specialists abroad, they managed to consult and talk with doctors of IBS Hospital, New Delhi India where they were given some assurance to restore his state of health to normal though it would come at a very exorbitant price.
Given the high cost they would incur to operate Phuntsho, the family then approached the Department of Law and Order, Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs who approved their request to seek donations from well-wishers.
The miracle begins
Just moments after the post for appeal of funds was shared in social media, hundreds of nitizens poured in to express their solidarity while some even formed groups to collect money and donate it to Phuntsho’s cause.
The donations began to pour in as figures began to rise just in minutes. And, in just about 12 hours, phu8ntsho and his family were overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that started pouring in from all parts of the country.
By around 11 the next day, after the post was shared in the afternoon the previous day, the required amount of Nu 2.8million for the operation was met and the family made another appeal to stop and withdraw the drive as they had already met the required figure.
Phuntsho and his family could collect Nu 2,819,945, which they said was enough to meet the operation costs and give a new lease of life to Phuntsho.
Following the closure of the account, an elated nut teary-eyed Phuntsho said that he was one of the luckiest persons on earth to have been born in this blessed country, with a caring King and even better fellow citizens.
“Thank You, Thank You beyond the earth and the skies,” Phuntsho wrote in his Facebook account, adding that though he is unlucky to have befallen with this great tragedy, yet he is very fortunate to be born in this great country where there is great community vitality, strong solidarity and great compassion.
Phuntsho said that tears rolled down his eyes and that he couldn’t contain his joy after knowing that the whole nation had united for his cause.
“Now that the required amount has been received, I would like to close this donation drive. Thank you all once again. You all shall remain in my heart forever. Please keep blessing me and send your prayers,” Phuntsho wrote, adding that he can now proceed with the operations and is expect to open up new avenues for this young man whose life nearly got jeopardized at such an early age.
Following the successful drive, hundreds took to social media to thank one another and for coming forward to help in Phuntsho’s cause.
Lily Wangchuk, a prominent social figure in the country worte: “Amazingly within just 24 hours Phuntsho Wangdi has received the required amount for his treatment. A huge amount was required but the generous contributions from people of all walks of life made it possible within a day. Such is the spirit of our Bhutanese citizens with our great sense of solidarity and compassionate hearts! Bhutanese are truly special.”
Like her hundreds came forward and expressed their views on how Bhutanese, despite being faced with their own challenges, always come forward to help their fellow-citizens in need.
Some years ago, citizens collected a huge sum to help a hapless Bhutanese student who was kept in a hospital in Tokyo with grave conditions. A similar drive for funds was initiated by nitizens and, just after days, the target was met and the money given to the parents of the affected.
Though the girl didn’t make it from the hospital bed, she and her family at least got assured that the whole nation was with them during her darkest hours and that Bhutanese will always lend a helping hand to their fellow citizens.
And, for the umpteenth time, our citizens have indeed done the nation proud.