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Nima Wangdi | Soe

But you wouldn’t know. Go the main pathway from Soe’s gewog centre towards Jomolhari base camp and you could actually be walking through the archery range (Bacho).

Many people, horses and yaks walk this path almost every day. It seems luck has always been with the travellers. No one has so far been hit by an arrow.

However, the issue of safety is a growing concern among the travellers.

Many tourists travel this way.

A villager said that either travellers or archer had to wait for the safety of the travellers.

Dotabi Tshogpa Pema Khandu said a survey as done recently for the archery range relocation near the gewog office. Space wasn’t enough.

Sonam Dorji, a shopkeeper, is also an archer.  He acknowledges the risks involved. “Many people have complained.”

Soe Mangmi Sonam Dorji said that given the risk factor, gewog identified an area on the other side of the river for relocation. The gewog administration is in default of budget.

Every second month of the Bhutanese calendar, people here celebrate a festival called Dhatse. Archery tournaments go on for five days straight.

The relocation of the archery range this year doesn’t look likely.

“Given the pandemic, this cannot be a priority,” Soe Mangmi Sonam Dorji said.

But for the safety of the travellers, the relocation of the archery range is becoming urgent in the far-off Thimphu village.

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