Thinley Namgay 

Karma Academy in Paro collected 405 sacks of waste in a day-long cleanliness campaign competition among 166 girls.

The competition was organised in December last year by the Shaba gewog administration in collaboration with the Indian Embassy as part of the 75th anniversary of the Indian Independence Day.

Participants were divided into 11 groups and collected the waste around Shaba town.  Shaba gewog’s staff and teachers of Karma Academy supervised and recorded the collection of waste.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the prize-awarding function was deferred until yesterday.  The Indian Embassy awarded smartphones and certificates to the three best group leaders based on the total waste they collected in a day.

The top group collected 58 sacks of waste; the second 49; and third 45 sacks.

As per the press release from the Indian Embassy, the competition was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote: “Cleanliness is next to godliness”.

Shaba Gup Chencho Gyeltshen said that Shaba was a strategic point in the country and must be kept clean all the time. “After landing at the Paro international airport, tourists enter into the country via Shaba and people of this community should be responsible for their waste. Karma Academy has been helping the gewog to maintain cleanliness.”

The 2019 data with National Environment Commission shows that the municipal solid dry waste generation was relatively higher (40-45 percent), and about 80 percent of the collected waste still ended up in the landfills.

“In general, Paro people are taking the initiative on waste management as per the dzongkhag tshogdu’s resolution. Paro is one of the dzongkhags with major religious sites, and these places need special attention,” said Chencho Gyeltshen.