All you need to know about De-suups (Guardians of Peace) in Bhutan

Email

Whenever there’s a disaster, trouble, or a need, the guardians of peace are deployed, almost like magic.

What is a Desuup?

Shrouded in orange, they serve tirelessly, like guardians watching over Bhutan. 

They are graduates of the Desuung programme.

“De” originates from “Dekyid” which means peace. “Suung” refers to guarding. Therefore, Desuung means “Guardians of Peace”. 

Launched on February 14, 2011 by the fifth King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the De-suung programme aims to encourage citizens to take up a role in nation-building. The training aspires to develop among the participants a sense of community and foster teamwork. Most importantly, it instils in them a spirit of “volunteerism”.

Any citizen who has undergone this training is encouraged to assist during disaster relief, participate in charitable activities, and be of service to those around them. 

The volunteers are called Desuups. 

At the time of writing, Bhutan has trained 45 batches of Desuups — a total of 22,095 trainees, 8,157 females and 13,938 males.

Contributions of the Desuups

Disaster Response

On 30th June 2021, the Desuups were mobilised to aid the police following an unfortunate landslide near Torobari. The landslide claimed two lives.

This is just one example of the kind of disaster response the De-suups are involved in. They were also there to help when the historic Wangdue Dzong caught fire. 

COVID-19 Response

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, they have been deployed all over the country, including manning 24-hour flu clinics.

Desuups were also providing assistance to distribute hand sanitisers and deliver goods to the communities when lockdowns were implemented in the country. Aside from that, the desuups are also stationed at borders and involved in patrolling to keep the nation safe.

More recently, thousands of desuups were deployed to assist in vaccine delivery and helped ensure that citizens report for vaccination during the historic nationwide vaccination programme in March 2021. 

Furthermore, 30 Desuups, known as Desuup plus, were trained as basic frontline responders to assist nurses should Bhutan enter a red-stage of the pandemic. 

Tshechu and National Events

During peacetime, you can also see the orange-clad volunteers playing vital roles such as crowd control to ensure that the festivals can run smoothly. 

Their presence always brings much reassurance to the event-goers. 

Water Projects

The King recognises the importance of a safe and reliable water source. Therefore, the Desuups have embarked on a series of water projects to ensure that the people of Bhutan have a constant supply of clean water. 

The pilot project, the Guma Water Project, was launched to address a drinking water problem in the three Chiwogs of Phulingsoom, Changyuel Thara Tashijong, and Docha Ritsa. The water was sourced from the Jajab Menchu stream and channelled to 258 households via an intake structure, two transmission lines, and two reservoirs.  

Subsequently, the Semjong Water Project, Kalapang Water Project, Dangdung Water Project, Geling Water Project, Naja Water Project, and others were launched.

Recently, the Desuung have partnered with the Gasa Dzongkhag Engineering Sector, and several other relevant personnels, to implement the Ramina Water Project. 

Their goal is to construct a structure that includes a prefabricated water tank, 2 break pressure tanks, and an intake structure of 3.3 km. 192 households will benefit from this.

The project is scheduled to be completed by 27 October 2021, and will later be handed over to the Dzongkhag who will be responsible for upkeep and operation.

Mobilising the Desuups

The De-suups have their own app, available on the IOS and android system. 

 

Whenever there’s a need for De-suups, the people in charge would post on the app, and any qualified De-suup is free to volunteer. When there is a disaster and dire need for Desuups, the gojay (captain) would reach out to them through messaging apps instead.

Quite often, the Desuups are mobilised within a short amount of time.

The Desuung Honour Code 

The De-suups have a code of honour, and it reads like this:

I, as De-suup, will keep service to my nation before my own safety and comfort.

I, as De-suup, will remain honest in thoughts and upright in actions.

I, as De-suup, will protect the national heritage even at the cost of my own life.

I, as De-suup, will never vacillate from integrity to my motherland and loyalty to my Supreme Commander.

I, as De-suup, will always volunteer for service to TSA-WA-SUM at any point of time.

I, as De-suup, will never let down my Supreme Commander and my fellow De-suups.

I, as De-suup, vow in the name of the deity of our motherland that I will abide by this honour code always and every time.

The De-Suung Logo

The Desuung logo was designed based on Bhutanese motif. The Dorji (thunderbolt) represents fearlessness and indestructibility. The main shaft denotes the Monarchy, which symbolises national unity, strength and harmony. Meanwhile, the raven depicts the Monarchy who is the Supreme Commander and Chief of the armed forces. Also, the Norbu (jewels) refers to wisdom.

The Desuung’s connection to society is portrayed by wings in five colours — symbolising the lay, spiritual, executive, judiciary, and the legislature.

Bhutan is the only country in the world that can mobilise and engage citizen volunteers at this scale.

So next time you’re in Bhutan, and you see a Desuup clad in orange, thank them for their diligent service, for they are the guardians that bring peace upon Bhutan.

Ask any Desuup and they will tell you that they are extremely proud to be able to serve their King, Country and People.



Related Posts

Desuups awarded the “Druk Thuksey” Representational Pin on the...

‘Druk Thuksey / Druk Thugsey, means "Son/Heart of the Thunder Dragon". It is an award to recognise people for their...

Feb 19, 2021 13:23

Thousands of Bhutanese signed up as DeSuups during COVID-19...

While COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of inconveniences, challenges, and uncertainties to individuals, it did not...

Aug 04, 2020 15:45

Cordyceps Sinensis, the super mushrooms of Bhutan

Cordyceps Sinensis has many health benefits, which includes being an aphrodisiac.

Sep 25, 2022 16:50

The King of Bhutan regularly visits his people

The royals of Bhutan have an honourable legacy. Visiting their people is part of it.

Sep 25, 2022 16:35

Here is what you need to know about tailoring in Bhutan

Bhutan continues to train tailors in both traditional Bhutanese tailoring and western dressmaking.

Aug 28, 2022 21:56

There is a love for chess in Bhutan

The Bhutanese chess team showed impressive results at the recent Chess Olympiad.

Aug 18, 2022 22:17

Latest

News

Bhutan to host the world’s toughest race

The race will cover a distance of 222 kilometres through difficult terrain, majestic mountains, and lofty glaciers.

Aug 29, 2022 22:08

New Riverside Market opens in Thimphu

As the old centenary farmers market undergoes its much-awaited renovations, the vendors of the first floor have now set up shop at the new...

Aug 15, 2022 18:04

Features

Cordyceps Sinensis, the super mushrooms of Bhutan

Cordyceps Sinensis has many health benefits, which includes being an aphrodisiac.

Sep 25, 2022 16:50

The King of Bhutan regularly visits his people

The royals of Bhutan have an honourable legacy. Visiting their people is part of it.

Sep 25, 2022 16:35

Business

The enormous role of hydropower in Bhutan

Bhutan uses hydropower to conserve the environment, produce electricity, and achieve economic self-reliance.

Jan 25, 2022 11:43

Online businesses are becoming more and more popular in Bhutan

Even though the Internet was developed in the 1960s, the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan was only introduced to it in June 1999.

Jan 20, 2022 12:41

Sports

More Bhutanese youths are engaged in football

Sitting at the 186th position in the FIFA rankings, Bhutan looks to improve its rankings in the years to come.

Aug 03, 2022 20:19

BOB Bhutan Premier League is coming back soon with a bang

There’s an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation growing in the valleys of Bhutan as football fans in the country await what appears to...

Jul 24, 2022 14:47

Travel

What you need to know about birdwatching in Bhutan

The best seasons and locations for birdwatching in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Sep 25, 2022 16:57

Bhutan revises its tourism policy to redefine High Value Low Volume tourism

Visitors to Bhutan will now have to pay more than triple the previous Sustainable Development Fees (SDF).

Jul 20, 2022 21:44

Lifestyle

Chillies, a spicy affair in Bhutan

The Bhutanese love it hot.

Jun 07, 2022 23:55

Bhutan is traditionally a matriarchal society

Women are the decision-makers at home, but something is keeping them from public life.

May 27, 2022 22:14

COVID-19

A detailed summary of Bhutan's COVID-19 management and plans moving forward

With offices and all businesses open, movement of vehicles allowed and critical services resumed from 21st March 2022, Bhutan braces for a...

Mar 22, 2022 11:23

Vaccinated tourists to undergo 5-day quarantine in Bhutan from April 25

What you need to know about entering Bhutan from April 25.

Mar 14, 2022 14:21

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!