Drukair sponsors 44 students’ excursion

Thinley Namgay

Dechen Zangmo, 15, had been to Thimphu only once. The class nine student of Baylling Central School in Trashiyangtse will board the national airline, Drukair, today.

She is off to Bangkok, Thailand, on a six-day fully sponsored educational excursion.

Dechen is among the 44 students, 22 boys and 22 girls, Drukair Corporation is sponsoring as a part of the Trongsa Penlop Inspire Programme. It is an opportunity extended to the less privileged students “to travel abroad and see the world differently.”

A press release from Drukair stated that the programme is an opportunity to reciprocate more meaningfully the goodwill of the community towards the development of Drukair as an airline and as the national flag carrier of Bhutan. “It is more than befitting for us to give back to the community through what we do best, travel,” the press release stated.

Students will engage in interactive sessions at Dhammajairine Wittaya School, visit the Khao Keow Open Zoo, aquatic life areas, entertainment centres, shopping malls, sea life Bangkok ocean world at Siam Paragon and Royal Bhutan Embassy.

Students will be given 400 USD each to buy the necessary items when they visit the shopping malls.

Four teachers and three Drukair staff will escort the students. Drukair also sponsored all the necessary items required for the trip like ghos, kiras, tracksuits, travel bags and shoes.

Drukair’s Chief Executive Officer, Tandi Wangchuk said they were encouraged by the success of the exposure trip last year. “During our first meeting last year, most of the students were shy, but after coming back from Thailand, I have seen improvements in their confidence level,” he said.

“In our post dinner session, almost all the 44 students shared their experiences in Thailand and some even sang songs infront of the guests,” Tandi Wangchuk said, adding that students spent their money for useful purposes.

The programme was conceptualised with the vision of Yap Dhondup Gyaltshen to inspire less privileged students by creating opportunity to travel abroad and experience the world differently. “The programme will inspire the students to work hard towards the limitless boundary of opportunities in life.”

Selection of students were done jointly by the Gyalpoi Zimpon’s Kidu Office and Ministry of Education with two students from all the 20 dzongkhags comprising of one male and female student along with four students from Wangsel Institute under Drugyel Central School in Paro.  The students were selected considering on academic excellence and their economic status.

Meanwhile, Dechen Zangmo said she is too excited to visit Bangkok. “Bangkok is something I never dreamt of,” she said during a briefing on Saturday.

Tsheten Dorji, from Naja, Paro is a class nine student of Bitekha Autonomous School under Paro dzongkhag. Tsheten Dorji said that he had heard of Bangkok and seen aircrafts fly over his school everyday. “It will be a special moment in my life.”