Tshering Palden 

Jobless, broke and stressed. Sangay Tshultim exhausted all options to feed his family. In a desperate attempt, he applied for Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu.

While he didn’t qualify for monetary relief kidu, officials from the team visited his home to verify. He was granted another kidu through the Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon immediately.

“If it was not for the ration kidu, we didn’t even have rice to feed our children,” the 35-year-old from Panbang, Zhemgang said. “I was so broke I couldn’t clear my electricity bill for three months.”

Sangay’s wife is pregnant and due to deliver in two weeks. He said his family doesn’t have the taxi fare to take her for the medical check-up due next week.

They have two children aged five and seven.

He said that his landlord has waived some portion of the house rent and his neighbours brought them vegetables.

Sangay applied for work and is willing to take up any kind of work.

Kinley Tshering, who was a cook in the tourism industry, received the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu. He has five children all under 10 years. He tried metal scrap business but that closed when the border was shut.

“Given that we have many children, we could not save anything to fall back on in such times,” his wife, Seldon said.

“I can’t imagine how we would have survived if not for the kidu from His Majesty The King,” she said.

If the relief kidu has helped those desperate ones, there were also those who qualified for kidu but did not apply.

Officials at the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu unit said that there were also those who received the relief kidu money but later voluntarily surrendered.

One woman refunded the amount after her foreign employer agreed to pay her salary and her landlord waived half the house rent. “She even topped up Nu 1,000 on to the kidu amount,” the official said.

More than 300 applicants in April alone have withdrawn after knowing the purpose of the kidu from the officials and various media sources.

“We also receive calls from people expressing their gratitude for the kidu,” the officials said.

Officials said that many say that the sanctity of kidu must be respected and those who can manage must pass the opportunity to those more deserving.

To ensure that no deserving individual is left behind, the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu team has fielded teams to verify some of the applicants on the ground.

Drangpons in the dzongkhags are helping with the verification of the applicants in the dzongkhags.

Over 70 percent of the applicants are from the tourism sector, and about 50 percent of the beneficiaries are from the sector, the official said.