About 100 graduate volunteers will work with Bhutan Toilet Organisation (BTO) to clean the toilets at Kuenselphodrang today.

This is a part of a volunteering program organised by an employee of National Pension and Provident Fund, Tandin Dorji and a student of Royal Institute of Management, Ngawang Tobgay, who coach graduates to prepare for the preliminary examination (PE) of the Bhutan Civil Service Examination (BCSE).

As part of the programme, more than 180 graduates volunteered to weed the paddy fields spanning 14 acres near the Tendrelthang at Tashichhodzong since August 7.

The volunteers, work from 8am to 5pm in collaboration with the Farm Machinery Corporation Limited (FMCL).

FMCL’s agriculture field supervisor, Ganga Ram, said that demonstrations on how to weed were held for the volunteers. “We ensure that the volunteers can identify the weeds.”

FMCL farm manager, Namgay Pelzang, said the volunteers benefitted them, as they only have 15 staff. It supports the group with refreshments and meals during work.

Ngawang Tobgay said that 50 graduates volunteer every day and they intend to continue the programme as long as there are volunteers. “There are many youth volunteers coming forward if one takes the initiative.”

A Sherubtse College graduate, Sangay Lham, said that working in a paddy field is a new experience for her. “I would like to be part of other volunteer programs in future.”

Graduates say the organisers asked them if they want to volunteer when they were attending PE classes.

A graduate of Gaeddu College of Business Studies, Kelzang Jigme, said he always volunteered during school and college days. “When our PE organisers asked us to volunteer, I came forward because the classes have been helpful to me.”

Ngawang Tobgay said that in a similar initiative last year, the graduates planted trees near Tandin Nye, organised a cleaning campaign with Greener Way in the city and also initiated weeding along the expressway with Clean Bhutan.

He said the group would continue to volunteer and support non-governmental and civil society organisations in future.

The organisers say that the volunteers will be awarded certificates, which will be beneficial to graduates in their BCSE examination marking. “During classes, we discussed about certificates for graduates through such volunteer works and decided to organise the program,” Ngawang Tobgay said.  As of yesterday, the volunteers covered three acres of paddy field.

Phurpa Lhamo