Sherab Lhamo   

On April 30, at around 5:30pm, Rinchen Namgay, a lecturer at Lekshey Jungney Shedra in Punakha, and Aum Wangmo discovered a black bag near the Bazam containing Rs 110,000. The bag also held three Indian passports and other personal belongings.

Rinchen Namgay’s family had come to see him at Lekshey Jungney Shedra in Punakha. During an evening walk, while taking pictures near the bridge, they noticed the bag but initially did not pay much attention to it.

Aum Wangmo, his mother, suggested that he pick up the bag and return it, as there was a chance others might throw it into the river without a second thought. When he picked it up, he noticed it was heavy. Thinking it was a school bag, he opened it and found cash inside.

They decided to hand it over to the police. Rinchen Namgay’s cousin, who is a police officer, called the Officer in Charge (OC) of Punakha. Rinchen Namgay and his cousin took the bag to the police station, where they met an Indian tourist and his family of four.

Such uplifting instances of honesty continue to shine in Bhutan. Over the past year, the police reported around seven lost and found cases on their social media platform, returning over Nu 251,577 in lost money and other belongings.

Satish Babu, the owner of the bag, expressed his appreciation for the public and police. “Bhutan lived up to its name, and we felt blessed by the nature of the people in your country. We had left it to fate, but we found it was in safe hands.”

On March 14, 2024, Kitsho Choki Gyeltshen, a Class VI student of Phuentsholing Primary School, returned over Nu 30,200 that she found near the Office of the Consulate General of India in Phuentsholing while on a walk.

Kitsho said she saw a transparent plastic bag near the footpath by her house, close to the India House. She thought it might belong to an elderly or poor person due to its condition, so she returned it to the police.

Kitsho received a call a few months later and learned that the police were able to contact a Bhutanese relative of the money’s owner, who came to claim the belongings for their grandfather.

Dawa Gyeltshen, Kitsho’s father, said that he was proud of his daughter’s honesty. “At the young age of 12, she set an example for other young people.”

Similarly, a taxi driver returned a purse containing Nu 52,377, a Visa card, and other belongings left by a passenger in his taxi.