Life was good for 28-year old Singye Wangchuck who did tidy business from carpentry works until he was accidently paralyzed in 2015. After that, he spent his days alone in bed at the in-patient guest house at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital.
However, his misfortune did not last long.
A youth volunteer group, Bhutan Sharing and Loving Youths (BSLY), that works with needy people especially the physically challenged and elderly, started to visit Singye Wangchuk frequently.
“The volunteers help me exercise, take me to different places and assist me financially. They even help me visit my daughter.”
Since BSLY was formed in 2016, it has helped many physically challenged people by facilitating movement in public places and raising funds for them.
BSLY has plans in the pipeline: it will start a project called “Book and action project” soon where the members will collect donated books and contribute them to remote schools around the country.
The group also plans to conduct a cleaning campaign with the theme “Our place, our planet and our responsibility.”
BSLY’s founder, Amrit Bdr Subba, 25, who works at Bhutan Development Bank Limited said that though there are different Non-government organizations (NGOs) working for various causes in Bhutan, one prime constraint faced is inadequate human resources during conduct of public events.
“Guided by the ideals of GNH, BSLY provides voluntary services during events organized by NGOs and the group also renders help to physically challenged individuals,” he said.
Till now, the group has provided services during the national drug campaign 2017 and to elderly citizens who do not have relatives to look after them, hosted fund raising programs for needy and paralyzed people and volunteered during the second citizen day among others.
Deepen Raj Ghalley, a co-founder said, “We have approximately 25 volunteers as of now but more come forward to render their services.”
BSLY is active in social networking sites where it tries to pool volunteers by showcasing works and the intent of its services. Also, individual members have been introducing the group to their friends.
But BSLY faces challenges as well. For instance, it does not have proper funding schemes or an identified place or office to conduct discussions and to host other important programs since the group is not registered as a Civil Society Organization.
“We cannot provide certificates and testimonials to those who render their services making it difficult to pool volunteers,” said Amrit Bdr Subba.
Deepan Raj Ghalley said that working for BSLY gives him a feeling of satisfaction as he is helping the society.
“Moreover, I do not take part in unhealthy activities such as drugs. Instead I am playing a role in nation building.”
BSLY provided its first service on November 11, 2016 during the birth anniversary of His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo.
BSLY has five founders.
Jigme Wangchen from Thimphu