Service: People of Athang and 14 other gewogs of Wangdue, will now no longer have to worry about availability of vehicles when faced with obstacles like death in a family.

Radap Phendey Tshogpa, a small voluntary group, has a bolero to help people transport bodies from home to the cremation ground.

Formed in November 2013, the group has transported more than 130 bodies from across Wangdue district to the cremation ground in Wangdue and Punakha.

Chairman Lopen Lhatu said that it was an initiative of Wangdue’s National Council representative Tashi Dorji.

Lopen Lhatu said that after winning the election, Tashi Dorji contributed the bolero and seed money of Nu 100,000 to form a tshogpa. Tashi Dorji is not a member of the tshogpa, however.

The tshogpa has nine members who made contributions to the seed money and provide vehicle service on first come first basis. The tshogpa pays charges for driver, repair and fuel.

To help sustain the group, the tshogpa is trying to invite more members through social media.

Athang Gup Khandu Dorji said that people from far-flung and poorest gewogs like Athang had to walk for days to reach the road point and wait for vehicles to reach the bodies to the cremation ground.

It takes about 80 kms from gewogs like Athang, Daga, Sephu and Kashi to reach the nearest cremation ground near Wangdue dzong. People had to pay a minimum of Nu 8,000 for the service.

“Now we just have to call the tshogpa chairman and we get the service,” said Khandu Dorji.

Tshering Dorji, tshogpa of Lawa chiwog, said that people had to wait for days looking for vehicles.

Radap Phendey Tshogpa has plans to help sick people and also to organise some religious functions within the dzongkhag.

By Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue