The Lions Clubs International has assisted the institute since 2007

Donation: As the nation was celebrating the 25th birth anniversary of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, the Muenselling Institute for visually impaired students had their own small celebration, yesterday.

On behalf of Her Majesty who is also the Royal Patron of the Ability Bhutan Society, the members of the Lions Clubs International (LCI) presented 12 desktop computers, six uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units, a braille printer, an internet modem and network cables to the institute.

The members also gave away school socks and shoes to the 40 students.

Elien Van Dille, vice chairman of Lions Euro-Asia Committee said that this was a continuation of an already ongoing support to the institute.

“In the last one and a half years, LCI has presented equipment worth USD 50,000 to the institute,” he said. “We will keep supporting.”

Last year, the LCI had donated 10 laptops, a scanner, projector and screens to the institute.

A teacher Kuenga Chhoegyel, who is visually impaired, said computers play a major role in a the visually impaired student’s life. For instance, with the computers, students can do their homework by using a software called job access with speech (JAWS).

“The barrier in learning is largely reduced and students can save a lot of time. They can read newspapers and books online,” he said. “If at all our students make it to the tertiary institutions, they would be able to compete with normal students.”

Though Bhutan became a member of LCI in 2010, the service organisation had already provided a braille printer to the institute in 2007.

A local member of the Druk Lions Club (DLC), Duptho, said that the prime objective of LCI is to help create awareness and protect people from blindness. Since 2011, he has also been personally donating school uniforms to the students.

“There are about 30 members in Bhutan and once a year, we have guest visitors from LCI updating us on the developments,” he said.

DLC has been providing mattresses, quilts, plates, cups, water filters and boilers, among others, to the institute.

Trashigang dzongdag Lungten Dorji attended the occasion and a cake cutting ceremony also took place. Students also performed songs and dances.

By Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang