Assistance: A little more than ngultrum three million was handed over to the Kidu Foundation yesterday by Dawa Penjor, the executive director for the Bhutan Media Foundation, who organised the citizen’s Bhutan4Nepal fundraising initiative.

The citizen’s campaign collected Nu 3.05 million or a little more than USD 48,000 in a span of 45 days following the April 25 earthquake in Nepal. The campaign ended on June 15.

In a press release issued by the organiser, it is pointed out that the campaign was inspired by His Majesty The King’s command to deploy a medical relief team to Nepal and also by a family member who donated funds through an international NGO.

Using social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, Dawa Penjore managed to reach out to around 5,000 people, the majority being Bhutanese.

“I was overwhelmed to be contacted by Bhutanese from all over Bhutan and abroad. They wanted to join the campaign and start parallel initiative to raise funds within their community and network. I was delighted to be able to provide a platform and inspire the Bhutanese citizen’s to contribute during this difficult tragedy. The success of the initiative is solely credited to the donors,” Dawa Penjor said, in his press release.

The campaign was also initiated to show Bhutanese solidarity, empathy and moral responsibility to support Nepal during a time of crisis.

The initiative was also designed for donations to reach ground zero and benefit people who were affected by the earthquake.

“The Kidu Foundation will identify the needs in Nepal and will make the deliveries accordingly,” it is stated in the press release.

A list of donors, along with the amounts, will be published in the media for transparency and accountability. Donors will also receive a receipt for tax exemption. Donor will also be provided with the details of spending.

Those still interested in donating can contact the Kidu Foundation directly, it is stated.

Meanwhile, the government is yet to declare how much it has collected through its own fundraising campaign, also called Bhutan4Nepal.

The money collected by the government will be used to pay for the medicine used in Nepal by the medical relief team.

Almost ten thousand people were killed by the 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal in April.

By Gyalsten K Dorji