Never has the world witnessed such incredible unity in history; fighting the elusive common enemy that is the Coronavirus, COVID-19 has quickly become every individual’s battle. Needless to say, the health and economic crisis we are in has given us this unique opportunity to reflect and evaluate our way of life that we take for granted.
The Bhutanese have been gifted with extraordinary beings, who shaped this beautiful nation that we hold dear today. It’s extremely heartening to see our beloved Druk Gyalpo, His Excellency the Prime Minister, and the Government work tirelessly to steer our small nation off to safety from rough waters. We are truly blessed as Bhutanese to have His Majesty’s personal leadership at our disposal. Whether we realize it or not, the Bhutanese are privileged citizens of the world, and we couldn’t be more grateful to our King and our government.
At this critical juncture, we also owe immense gratitude to our health workers who are in the frontlines in the fight against this deadly virus. Thank you very much!
All of us enjoyed the nectar while times were good that we often took it for granted. But now is the time to step up; it’s time each of us, in every way possible, small or big, pay our dues to uphold all that is dear to us as Bhutanese. We owe it to our King, the government, and our country to step up to our plate.
It’s unprecedented that the world is in crisis. We have all heard about deadly pandemics of the past, but we were never this mobile and vulnerable as a society. The world at large has never been exposed to as big of a threat as we are now. There is no better time to return the favour! Our country is counting on each of us.
While Bhutan and the world quickly adapt to the reality of the Coronavirus, so do we. These are trying times with the tourism and hospitality sector being directly/immediately hit by it. As a tour operator, we too have become one of many direct economic victims of the pandemic.
But just as we often fail to acknowledge our good times, we cannot afford to play victim when it’s time to rough it out. Instead, it’s become our moral responsibility to do everything possible to aid the government and the country in need. It gives us hope, however, to see many of us already step forward to help the government feel at ease. We also applaud those building owners who are willing to offer rent relief to their affected tenants.
At our level, we pledge to commit a total of Nu 1.3 million as a relief fund. The fund includes Nu 0.6 million contribution towards COVID-19 Fund – to support government’s effort in fighting the deadly Coronavirus, and Nu 0.7 million to our team members (most of whom are freelancers), to help offset their living costs.
These contributions are a small token to express our appreciation and support for our government, fellow citizens, and those who helped grow with us over the years.
For good times and bad, we shall always remain in support. Let’s act responsibly, do our part and get through this together! Let’s respect and abide by what’s expected of us by the government – Avoid going out in public; wash hands; keep social distance; and stay vigilant.
N.B: The sole intention of this written presser is to stoke a sense of urgency and rouse the spirit of Bhutanese camaraderie to help the country when it’s in need. It’s disturbing to hear that many are waiting for government handouts, while many more risk getting laid off. But as a society, this should not be allowed to happen in a country like Bhutan.
Phuntsho Norbu for
Team Bridge To Bhutan