Safety is our priority: fair organisers

Chimi Dema

“Safety is the biggest concern and we will not compromise the safety of the public,” according to the Programme Coordinator of REWA, who is one of the organisers of the fair at Changzamtog in Thimphu.

Sonam Dorji said that they have decided to hold the event at the Changzamtog school ground because the area is close to the Thimphu hospital and the fire division of the Royal Bhutan Police. “This would help us if in case there were any problems related to safety.”

Following the news of a man who escaped unhurt after a minor accident at the fair on Saturday, relevant agencies has cautioned the organisers to take safety measures at the fair.

However, the organisers claimed that the man was drunk and slipped off the iron staircase when he went to get down his child from the Ferris wheel.

On the safety issues, organisers said that at least 15 foreign workers were deployed to set up the structures and local youth were also hired to assist, but at the same time to let them acquire some life-long skills, said Sonam Dorji.

On the temporary structure where the stunts are held, organisers said that they control the crowd for safety reasons. ‘The capacity is for about 200 people, but we entertain only about 100 keeping in mind the safety aspect,” said Sonam Dorji.

Organisers said that they have enough people and check all the rides and parts including tightening the 500 bolts on one of the rides every morning before opening the fair.

They also said that the fair was organised for a good cause. “REWA as a social enterprise that supports mostly destitute youth through provision of training, we don’t have many options to generate fund,” Sonam Dorji said.

It is through such fair where we could engage more needy youth and help them make some income by setting up food stalls, he added.

“While the purpose was for good cause, we also made sure there were safety gears in place,” said Sonam Dorji.

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