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

Email

While COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of inconveniences, challenges, and uncertainties to individuals, it did not deter the Bhutanese to step forward to play a part in being active citizens.

39th Batch DeSuups undergoing the DeSuung Programme

DeSuung a.k.a “Guardians of Peace”, was an initiative created by His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to promote the spirit of volunteerism, positive influence of ethics, community service, integrity and civic responsibility in society. It was His Majesty the King’s noble vision to create a voluntary organisation for Bhutanese to support and serve their neighbours, communities, society and country at large. Since its launch in February 2011, Bhutan has trained 12848 Desuups (volunteers) in Bhutan across 7 training centres in the country. 

Don in bright orange uniforms, these reliable men and women can be found everywhere during crises and peace time - at the festival grounds, major national events, reconstruction projects, natural disasters ground, religious congregations, national borders. In a country that faces resource and manpower crunch, it is only right to focus on building the human capital to help ensure that the country will continue to progress steadily. 

"There is a higher responsibility - not written in any legal document but instead enshrined in humanity and history - a natural responsibility and duty that we all must shoulder equally, irrespective of who we are. Of paramount importance to the strength of a nation, is the ability of her people to live as one united family - a community in which interaction is marked by trust, understanding and cooperation." His Majesty The King

DeSuups have always been at the forefront of disaster responses within the country from fire to landslides and the spirit of volunteerism transcended borders in times of needs. In 2015, upon the Royal Command of His Majesty The King, some DeSuups also went to Nepal to assist during the major earthquake. The Desuups were deployed as part of the first-ever Bhutanese Medical Response team, which operated a self-sufficient district hospital in Nepal for several weeks. It was a significant moment for the Desuung fraternity as the support and solidarity rendered generated much goodwill and appreciation for Bhutan beyond the borders. 

DeSuups in Nepal during the earthquake in 2015

In April this year, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, His Majesty The King addressed the nation through a televised speech and reinforced the message on the importance of unity and cooperation during these unprecedented times. To supplement the efforts of the health professionals and armed forces, an Accelerated Desuung Programme was created. There are around 2,500 slots available for each batch and seats were said to be taken up within hours of registration opening. This spirit of volunteerism and servant leadership shown in this tiny Himalayan nation is truly remarkable. 

The DeSuups undergo an intensive and rigorous 3 weeks training that begin as early as 4am well into the night. During this pandemic that threatens the peace, security and prosperity of the nation, DeSuups truly lived up to their role of being the Guardians of Peace. They have been supporting the frontliners in various capacities such as loading and unloading of goods to help healthcare workers in quarantine centres, screening people at point of entries and carrying out surveillance and patrolling in the towns and borders.  

“His Majesty the King has been devoting himself selflessly to serve the people in all corners of the country. He has sacrificed a lot to ensure that we are safe and happy. He is really working tirelessly everyday. I think this is the time for people to do something for the country. I was really touched by the speech made by His Majesty. It inspired me to sign up to be a DeSuup,” says Tobgay, a tour guide with Druk Asia

During this time of pandemic when tourism is on pause, Tobgay has been actively involved in DeSuup duties. The Desuung training has not only strengthened his disaster management skills which will come in handy for his role as a tour guide but it also helped him become physically fitter and healthier. From being 108kg prior to joining Desuung training, he now weighs around 88kg. 


Tobgay with his guest in Bhutan

Tobgay in his bright orange DeSuup uniform

While COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of inconveniences, challenges, and uncertainties to individuals, it did not deter the Bhutanese to step forward to play a part in being active citizens. Being a DeSuup is one of the highest forms of voluntary service in Bhutan and it is undoubtedly that these selfless men and women in orange will continue to serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum (King, People, Country) with unwavering dedication and loyalty. There is always this unmistaken sense of pride that shines through whenever they put on the orange uniform or just in the way they speak about being a DeSuup. 

Like Tobgay, many of his peers in the tourism industry have been affected by the pandemic when tourism was put on halt upon the discovery of the first COVID-19 imported case in the country. However, many Bhutanese have rose up to the occasion to serve and to give back to their communities in different ways such as volunteering in the local clinic and cleaning up the streets. 

If the pandemic was a test to a country’s resilience and unity, Bhutan would have passed with flying colours. 

----

The DeSuung fraternity is made up of thousands of volunteers from all walks of life from students to the Former Prime Minister of Bhutan coming together with a common purpose of being Guardians of Peace. 

Click here to find out all you need to know about the Desuung Programme in Bhutan.

 

Related Posts

Bhutan is leading in the vaccination race

“Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated...

Jul 28, 2021 12:01

Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced...

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Paro International Airport is certified as a safe airport for...

Paro International Airport was awarded the Certificate of Accreditation by Airports Council International (ACI).

Jul 16, 2021 17:43

Bhutan set to conduct second nationwide vaccination drive from 20...

Bhutan received 500,000 doses of Moderna vaccine and will be receiving more vaccines in the coming weeks.

Jul 13, 2021 15:12

12 ways Bhutanese have come together to effectively combat the...

To date, only one person in Bhutan has died of Covid-19. Despite all the lockdowns the country has endured, the welfare...

Jul 05, 2021 11:34

Denmark donates around 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to...

Bhutan calls for help. And Denmark responded. The Danish authorities are working hard to deliver the vaccines to the...

Jul 02, 2021 22:01

Latest

News

70-year-old sound healer promotes sound healing in Bhutan through gong therapy

The journey of a passionate sound healer infusing the kingdom with sound healing through the love for gongs.

Sep 10, 2021 12:51

First tourist arrived in Bhutan after more than a year

After more than one and a half years of hiatus caused by the pandemic, Bhutan received its first tourist on Aug 9.

Aug 10, 2021 11:13

Features

Guru Rinpoche, the legendary saint who spread Buddhism in Bhutan

He was born from a lotus, fully enlightened. He went on to become the patron saint of Bhutan and established the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Sep 17, 2021 13:28

Atsara: the Bhutanese clowns who are not just clowns

On top of being clowns, they are also storytellers, spiritual teachers, and the master of ceremony. The bright red mask and giant phallus...

Aug 25, 2021 14:09

Business

Yathra weaving, the uniquely Bumthang culture

Unlike other places in Bhutan, the people of Bumthang don’t do agricultural work. Instead, they weave yathra products. Traditionally, every...

Sep 13, 2021 17:06

What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives available in Bhutan?

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are groomed to innovate,...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37

Sports

Bhutan makes its debut appearance at the Paralympic Games

There is much to celebrate in the sporting history of Bhutan.

Aug 16, 2021 11:50

Bhutan competed in the Olympics through historic qualification

Since 1984, Bhutan has been competing in the Olympics via universality invitation, but not the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Jul 29, 2021 17:06

Travel

Travel to Bhutan: experience the beauty of Punakha

Punakha district is easily one of the tourists' favourite valleys.

Sep 07, 2021 15:44

How should I dress in Bhutan?

About to head to Bhutan for the adventure of your lifetime but don’t know what to pack? Fret not. Here’s a guide of useful clothing items to...

Sep 06, 2021 11:49

Lifestyle

The different types of prayer wheels in Bhutan

You'll find prayer wheels all over Bhutan. Inside each prayer wheel is a tightly rolled-up scroll of mantras. Spinning the wheel is...

Sep 02, 2021 11:22

Blessed Rainy Day: the festival where Bhutanese bath outdoors together

The holy bath is believed to wash away bad luck, bad karma, diseases, sins, or any other negative influences.

Aug 31, 2021 11:12

COVID-19

Bhutan is leading in the vaccination race

“Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated families." - Dr Will...

Jul 28, 2021 12:01

Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced its second vaccination drive

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!