Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Samdrupjongkhar thromde hired 27 employees working in the entertainment houses in the town, who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The employees, 22 women and five men, working in drayangs, karaoke and discotheques will clean the town and get a payment of Nu 15,000 a month.

A woman working in a Karaoke said her employer helped them pay house rent and rations until last month but they were worried as he would not be able to support since there is no income.

She said she immediately took up the job to clean the town when the thromde offered them because they were also looking for an alternate source of income.

They start working from 6am until 5pm.

Another employee, a 24-year-old, said they are thankful to the thromde for offering them jobs during such crucial times. “We do not feel shy to clean the town because it’s our responsibility to keep the surroundings clean.”

She said it’s an opportunity for them, as it’s also a service to Tsawa-Sum.

The coordinator of the team, Kelzang Wangchuk, said they got salary for the month of March but they were worried about how to meet the expenses for April, as they don’t have much savings.

He said they submitted names of 32 employees to the regional labour and human resource office but five left to their villages because of personal problems.

Thromde’s executive secretary, Tougay Choedup, said the list was submitted to Covid-19 taskforce, as they were laid off from work during the survey conducted by the regional labour and human resource office.

He said the thromde offered them the jobs as per the taskforce’s instruction because Indian labourers, who usually did the job, could not come to work after the lockdown in India. “Thromde pays Nu 500 a day.”

According to the executive secretary, they have budget only for three months but they would request the government for additional fund if situation doesn’t improve.