Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

For the past two years, Wangdue’s dzongkhag administration has been trying to compile documents to help four children of Gembo’s family in Jala, Ruebisa to register as citizens.

Gembo lives in Jala with his wife and five children.

Apart from the eldest 18-year old daughter, the couple’s four younger children are not registered as citizens of Bhutan.

According to the Citizenship Act of Bhutan, to register children as citizens, they must be born in the country and should be listed with the dzongkhag or the drungkhag after their birth.

However, if a child is more than a year old and still not registered in the official record, registration is not permitted but could be applied to the home ministry by the concerned local authority.

According to Ruebisa Gup Karma Wangdi, the children weren’t registered during census as the family didn’t reside in the village then.

He added that, further, Gembo and his wife were registered under a constituency in Trongsa.

Later, with help from the relatives, Gembo’s census details were shifted to Wangdue.

According to Gembo, he lost all necessary documents required to apply for citizenship after he met with an accident in 2007.

According to Wangdue Dzongdag, Sonam Jamtsho, the dzongkhag officials came to know about Gembo’s issue in 2018 and the census officials started compiling documents.

Dzongkhag census officials visited Gembo’s family numerous times to process documents.  Transportation services were provided by the gewog officials for the family to move and procure required documents.

Dzongkhag’s census officer, Dechen Wangdi, said that Gembo didn’t have marriage certificate and the three of the four children didn’t have health certificates. “We needed to know their date of births to process the documents. We also tried to find out their date of births through health records but we couldn’t find it out.”

To ensure education for Gembo’s children, dzongkhag officials also issued a letter to enroll children in Jala Primary School.

Dechen Wangdi said that the documents would be filed to the Department of Civil Registration and Census on March 19.

Kuensel learned that dzongkhag kidu officials also visited the family with ration and basic necessities.