The women behind the Orange garb

By Tashi Dendup

The De-suung National Service, a brainchild of His Majesty the King, has evolved to become one of the most influential organizations of our time.

From guarding the country’s frontiers in the north and south to helping citizens rebuild lives and infrastructures, the De-suung fraternity is today one of the most vibrant civil forces that has become even more respected because of their role in the ensuing pandemic.

However, donning the Orange uniform comes with a lot of personal bravery and sacrifice.

The story of Desuup Rinchen Wangmo of Paro is one such inspiring anecdote that depicts the true essence of being a Desuup, and the pride in serving the nation and the community.    

It was during the second national lockdown when Rinchen Wangmo experienced one of the turning moments of her life after she joined the fraternity.

She said her routine duty entailed doing daily rounds near the Shaba community in Paro. Apart from ensuring the public follow the health protocols, Desuups often go beyond their means and duties to serve the community.

“I once had to salute a VVIP with a clenched fist as my fingers had gone numb after scrubbing the public toilet in Shaba for hours in the peak of winter,” Rinchen Wangmo said, adding it was one of the few moments that made serving as a Desuup pragmatic. 

She said the police officer beside her thought that she wasn’t able to salute in a proper manner, as in the military code. However, she explained her situation to the officer who later understood her plight.

Rinchen said such incidents have inspired her to do more for the community. She said while it was often dangerous to walk alone especially at night with lots of stray dogs chasing them, her thought that she is serving The Supreme Commander, His Majesty the King, kept her going. 

“Whenever you think or catch sight of portraits of our beloved King, one becomes instantly motivated to do more and do your best in everything. Your eyes are filled with tears and gratitude and the feeling of immense gratitude and desire to more for the country and a King that you revere the most,” Rinchen Wangmo said.

Like Rinchen, Namgay Om says De-suups are the guardians of peace and a name that attracts the patriots, and those who like to serve the community.

She said De-sung is a program which encourages citizen like her to take an active role in nation-building and disaster management.

Serving as a Desuup for the past three months, Namgay Om said her most cherished moment is the day she donned the orange uniform and when she became a member of the “The Kings Army” as is known among the Desuup fraternity.

She said that despite facing lot of difficulties, like being at the receiving end of some irriate residents, the thought that she was serving her nation and her Supreme Commander was reasons enough to keep her going.

“Being Desuup and donning the Orange uniform is a good enough reason to make you smile at the end of a hectic day. You should strongly believe that if you all work together in these trying times you will definitely overcome it and live a normal life ahead. Just follow the protocols and live healthily,” she said.

Another Desuup, Tshewang Lhamo, said being part of the orange brigade is a dream for everyone and that dream came true for her a few months back.

She said she joined the Desuup family to be a part of service to the country and the Tsa Wa Sum and not for any gains or accolades attached to it.

“I was moved by his Majesty’s words and stepped forward to serve the nation. And after training, I was deployed at the CFM area with my other nyamros. I feel proud to have made this decision,” Tshewang said.

She said one of her most cherished moments was the day when she, and some of her nyamros, was granted audience by His Majesty the King.

She said the Desuup uniform is not just a dress, but that the wearer is donning an extra layer of responsibility.

Likewise, her friend Tandin Wangmo, who had a dream of becoming a military person, had also joined the Dessung family as it was close to her heart.

She saidjoiningDesuup was the best opportunity to serve the country and His Majesty the King.

One of the most memorable experiences as a desuup, according to her, is during the training. “You realize that the training provides individuals with the opportunities to participate in real-life activities that are prevalent beyond our thought walls,” she said.

Tandin said it provides everyone to showcase their skill and strategies to survive and even teaches individuals the importance of teamwork.

She said, after the hectic day at work, the first thought that comes to your mind is that a least you got a chance to serve your country and king during such times as when the country needs you the most.

“No matter how bad the day is you are always thinking about what you have achieved during your duty as a desuup and it put a smile on your face,” Tandin said, with an unmistakable tint of pride and contentment on her face.

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