Suraj Gurung | Intern and Sherab Lhamo

Early risers will see Bashamber Dass tending to a little flower garden at Babesa. The rains have come and the 53-year old driver of project Dantak is wasting no time. Bashamber’s tenure in Bhutan ends next month. He wants to leave the garden as a “small gift” to the community and the project.

The small garden near the Khamdo Lum bus stop, Babesa, Thimphu was a dump yard. Huge amounts of soil and muck were dumped to fill the  eroding stretch behind the Dantak clinic. Bashamber decided to turn it into a small garden open for people waiting for the bus or visiting the clinic.

“I saw an old lady waiting for the city bus in the dust. That’s when I thought of turning the area into a park,” he recalls. Bashamber worked on the garden during his free time in the morning and after duty in the evenings single-handedly creating the half-court basketball size garden.

Named BD Park, many could mistake it for his name, but BD stands for Bhutan Dantak Park, he says, named  in honor of the Project Dantak and Bhutan he served for two years. 

Today, it is filled with a variety of flowers such as dahlia, sunflower, marigold, and vegetables too. There are also logs around for the people to sit and relax. Bashamber didn’t forget the birds too. An earthen pot filled with water is hung, made from scrap materials for the birds to drink.

It was not an easy job, says Bashamber. Sometimes he woke up as early as 4am and worked late into the night to complete his mission. ‘’I could have completed the garden much earlier if I had help or better tools.  It was always me and my pickaxe in the garden,” he says. He collected stones and old discarded barbed wire from around the place to fence it . 

With a few weeks left for his departure, Bashamber is still expanding the garden. “I hope people will like my gift.”