Every season brings some new challenges. It is not as if we have not had to deal with one of the biggest tests of our time—Covid-19. We now know how to protect ourselves against the deadly virus that is mutating fast, vaccines besides. But summer is come, and, that means being in the fragile heart of the Himalayas, we also need to remind ourselves of the trouble that can make our lives very difficult.
Monsoon is just beginning to peak and we have already lost too many lives. Our roads and bridges are being washed away by floods and slides. One way, we can’t help it because of the terrain. Our roads run through the most dangerous geological realities, as our bridges do. That is why we end up spending a little too heavily on our bridges and roads.
As more rains come and water levels rise, we would be losing more bridges and roads. We can rebuild the bridges and roads but how can we reconcile with the many lives that are lost unnecessarily? A life lost in a family is not just a pain or tear for the departed; for many it’s about the future and sustenance.
We are quick to blame every natural disaster that strikes the country on one department. What we need to understand is that the department can only study the changing climatic conditions, their likely effects, and warn the people. It has been doing all these in a manner so it deserves a national accolade.
What is, and has been missing, is education and awareness. If every one of us cut our travel needs to the minimum like we refrain from breaking the Covid-19 protocols? There wouldn’t be as many accidents and needless loss of life.
Bhutan now is a different country; it has more educated population than uneducated. Even so, why do we have to deal with such simple issues of safety?
As parents, we need to advise our children to not go to the sides of swelling rivers and bursting streams. As teachers, we need to tell our children that summer is not just hot and humid but also wet and life-threatening.
Because the monsoon is here, these reminders are important. Recklessness can have us in more problems and needless heartaches.
Time your travel and travel safe. Keep away from the banks of rivers. Avoid wet and sludgy parts. Safety is one’s own responsibility.