KuenselOnline

Friday, October 31st, 2014 - 3:02 PM
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Women, rise!

As the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) prepares to hold by-election for the post of gewog tshogde tshogpa in Pemagatshel and Zhemgang, we need to pause and look back on the journey we have made since we became a democracy six years ago. At the same time, we need to commit ourselves to making amends wherever we have fallen short, and forge ahead. We will be doing a great disservice to our society if we fail to do so at least this much upon ourselves. [... Read More]

Other side of happiness

A large number of our senior citizens are finding themselves pushed to the edge of society. We don’t require statistics to tell us that. We know because they are there, starkly visible, in and around our prospering neighbourhoods. Yet the reality that is unfolding before our very eyes continues to escape us. Perhaps we are blinded by our need to serve ourselves first. And in this trail of honouring ourselves before any other, we have failed to understand that needs and wants are the very [... Read More]

Being responsible

The opening statement of the libel case that involves Druk Phuensum Tshogpa and Dasho Paljor J Dorji gives us some idea of the scope of the lawsuit.  It is not a petty scuffling. And this is why we need to put ourselves in the wider perspective. There is only a thin line between individual and society. As clichéd as the phrase can be relegated down to on a linguistic plane, no man is an island. But dearer still is truth. No man or institution can [... Read More]

Some consumer protection, please

The Bhutan Standard Bureau in its routine inspection of the fuel distributors found that customers are not getting fuel worth the money they pay.  Fuel, both petrol and diesel, has become expensive and is a necessity.  So, it gives cause for concern. Oil distributors are not cheating customers, intentionally.  But if customers are not getting their money’s worth, they will feel cheated, even if it is by a few millilitres.  With the pump dispensing 20 to 30ml short for every five litres, a customer would [... Read More]

Going biogas

There is an encouraging development taking place is some parts of rural Bhutan.  From Samtse in the south to Trashigang in the east, the biogas fever seems to have gripped villagers, who rear cattle.  Rather those behind the biogas project are now convincing villagers to shift to the cheaper source of energy for lighting and cooking. The Bhutan biogas project aims to install at least 1,600 plants by the end of the year.  Going by the progress, it looks achievable.  But the bigger achievement would [... Read More]

Keeping Ebola at bay

Ebola virus disease is sweeping across regions.  Because of the horrific nature of the epidemic, health experts are calling it “the scariest of all diseases”, deadlier than HIV/AIDS.  Developing countries with weak health systems that lack human and infrastructural resources, therefore, are at greater risk of getting affected.  Bhutan is no exception.  We need to be vigilant. It could have been conveniently a different story, but Bhutan is no longer safely cocooned in its protective shell of isolation.  We have opened up.  By opening ourselves [... Read More]

A step in the right direction

The “Move for Health” walk yesterday in Thimphu generated Nu 2.4 million towards the Health Trust Fund. It is not a huge amount, if compared with the amount collected last year, and not even a fraction of what was voluntarily donated in 2002 after the first “Move for Health” led by the then health and education minister, Sangay Ngedup. But there were several things to take away from the walk, worth more than the money collected.  It is good to see the sense of voluntarism, [... Read More]

Bringing transparency to bear

Winter and summer are special seasons for the Bhutanese.  These are the times of the year when we make heavy, important decisions for our nation, for our people, for the kind of future that we would like to have for ourselves and for our children.  Our lawmakers are preparing for the winter session of Parliament.  Come November 12, we will have the 14th session of Parliament, six years after we chose to become a democracy. We are a fully democratic country today.  We should be [... Read More]

Filling the WFP void

As  the world food program (WFP) school-feeding program heads for the exit, the impact of its departure can be felt in schools, especially those in far-flung areas, where food security continues to be an issue. WFP’s withdrawal can be seen as an achievement, because it reflects the status of a country as growing in terms of gross domestic product, per-capita income and food security. But there is a grey area in between.  In this space, children still suffer from lack of food, and this is [... Read More]

Talking trash

With the Thimphu thromde receiving four compactor trucks from the government of Japan, waste collection in the capital city is expected to improve.  This will come as a relief to the capital’s residents, besides the thromde, which is facing an uphill task in its battle against garbage collection and management. Managing waste is a problem in this ever-expanding city.  In fact, the garbage strewn around is an eyesore in the capital.  Without timely and adequate facilities to collect waste, most garbage lands in nooks and [... Read More]

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