Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Increase data quota

With the advent of modern technology, Bhutan now has advanced into a technology world. Mobile phones have become ubiquitous and basic communications tools are now used not only for phone calls, but also for accessing the Internet, sending text messages, and many other things ranging from entertainment to even addressing loneliness.
With the change over time, accessing the internet has become a major requirement for every mobile user. B-mobile has operated various services to the client’s satisfaction. I would particularly like to mention prepaid data package that we can subscribe through eLoad or B-Wallet. We get 475MB of data volume and 30 Free SMSes as a bonus with a validity of one month for Nu 99. 
The data package of 475MB seems to last quite long compared to the talk-time balance while accessing internet services. However, the bonus of 30 free SMSes is clearly viewed as a void by many service users. 
While data package is clearly meant for internet access, many users do messaging in social sites such as WeChat and Facebook for example. Or in other words users don’t even mind paying Nu 0.45 per SMS. 
With the availability of social networking facilities in mobile phones, usage of the SMS system is now in drastic decline. Many data package users have now accumulated thousands of free SMSes.

 I would like to request B-mobile to convert those 30 free SMSes into a data package so that data volume is increased instead of free SMS.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Medical Certificate really necessary?

I was wondering about the medical fitness certificate provided by hospitals as required by employing agencies. It will be good if hospital can simply do away the practice of providing medical fitness certificate without any check-up. The employing agencies are otherwise easily cheated. 
Moreover it involves cost. Nu 100 is not so reasonable to pay just to get signature of doctor on duty and hospital seal. They make sure to write no disease is found in the applicant's body and reflects the BP measure without even check-up sometimes. The certificate is valid for six months from the time of production.

Every day, more than 100 applicants are visiting hospital to get the same from 4 pm to 7 pm as scheduled in JDWNRH for example.  I understand a single medical doctor on duty may not finish checking all the applicants within this time bound.  Therefore they simply sign the prescriptions in haste. Hospitals need to find alternatives may be assigning more medical doctors in this scheduled timings to improve the services. 
If hospital cannot improve this services the employing agencies has to revise their employment laws. Every applicant is medically fit by convention as prescribed by hospitals. No matter if the applicant has any diseases or not. He/she is medically fit unless they confess their disease to doctor during production of medical certificate.

This issue has gained media attention and BBS news highlighted this topic on September 5, 2016. I could learn the same from other applicants on screen that they were expressing their dissatisfaction of providing certificate without check-up. I was quite shocked to hear from the Medical superintendent of National Referral Hospital. He said “jobs that require strenuous physical activity like armed force, police and pilot require Medical certificate unlike desk jobs”. For armed force they generally do thorough check-up in army hospital.
Dr. Gosar Pemba said for general employment they normally take up blood pressure, pulse rate, check the person’s heart and lungs and look at the general body of the person to see whether they are ill. This is controversial statement the medical officers explained in media. Just last week I was also one of the applicants seeking this certificate. I was shocked to see a medical doctor on duty directly signing the prescription and writing the BP measure without even check-up.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Thank you Ministry of Labour and Human Resources

 I would like to express my gratitude to ministry of labour and human resources for conducting a week long National Graduates Orientation Programme themed “Towards building responsible citizens and leaders” began on August 13 and ends on August 20.

It was worth attending and I assumed many of my fellow graduates have enjoyed and grasp the opportunity to learn from the programme. In other words it was very interesting and interactive session. The programme has included various ministries, national assembly, national council and other agencies. We got an opportunity to interact with high dignitary officials including cabinet ministers in which otherwise it’s a rare opportunity. Beside their presentation, they consumed our queries and understands the youth related problems.

15th National Graduates Orientation Program conducted at Royal Institute of Management was very special as Her Royal Highness Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck is also among the graduates attending the orientation program. We were lucky to have graduated in the same year with Royal Highness.  This is one of the many reasons we take pride being the graduates of 2016.

We are blessed to have audience with His Majesty the King on August 16. “You all are the guardians of our country’s peace, stability and harmony” His Majesty said. His Majesty also highlighted “As a central theme of my talk today, we need capable, intelligent citizens. What we lack in numbers, we have to make up in talent. We will never go wrong by investing in making our people stronger, better and more prepared,” We are very much aware of His Majesty’s concern to the youths of Bhutan. We will someday fulfil His Majesty’s desire.

It is sad that our career has cost the country. Bhutan government does everything for youths. As many as more than 2000 university graduates participated the programme. Despite this huge number they paid Nu. 200 per day as a DSA. I can imagine more than Nu 4 lakhs was spent on DSA itself. And I cannot even imagine how much was spent in total.

Having said so, we couldn’t do anything worth but as a gratitude and mark the birth of Royal Highness the prince Jigme Namgyel, have planted 1000 trees on August 21 near Tandin Nye coordinated by one of the graduates Ngawang Tobgay. More than 500 volunteer graduates were involved. We could also contribute an amount of Nu 146000 to Bhutan kidney foundation and Nu 31000 to Mongar fire victims initiated by councilors of the programme.

I would like to urge future graduates to participate in such programme. It is really helpful and enjoyable as well. Once more, I would like to thank MOLHR.  If there is ever anything we can do for you, it will be indeed a great honor for us and we are ready to take any jobs hereafter.

Lastly, but not the least we would like to sincerely thank our teachers for all the efforts and the patience you have in transforming us from an aimless teenager into a responsible and focused person. We hope we are able to incorporate your teachings into daily life and become a good person as you always thought we would be. As much as we desire, we proudly say now we are graduates.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Why medical certificate?

We are very lucky to be born in this GNH country where we get free medical services.
I am afraid that my writing would dishearten some of the medical officials and graduates. But I have to be brutally straight.
I was wondering why all the employing agencies require medical fitness certificate from job seekers knowing that it involves cost. Why do we have to undergo blood pressure check up, for example? Expertise might say that by checking BP, other diseases could be found in the applicant’s body.
It is good to learn that some organisations take selected candidates for medical check up. I found this practice really good.
If the employing agencies really need medical certificate from job seekers, there is a need to improve medical service first. Who visits hospitals to get this certificate? Mostly unemployed youths, who are seeking jobs. And this is expensive for many.
Nu100 may not be a huge amount for some people, but it is for unemployed people and economically disadvantaged family.

Monday, August 8, 2016

When will the stray dog problem be solved?

It is quite sad to learn that the government has been spending millions of Ngultrums on injections for dog-bite victims and on dog population control programmes. Most shockingly the dog population is very high. The National Dog Survey conducted in May 2015, recorded 73,124 dogs in the country of which 58.67% were estimated to be strays and 41.33% pets.
Dog bite cases were mostly from strays. It is pleasant to learn that there are ear notched dogs in the streets indicate that the dogs have been sterilised and vaccinated, but people simply can’t get bitten by those dogs.
I have hardly seen dogs with notched ears in the urban areas. I believe that the dog problem is a serious issue to look further into.
The government has seen the dog population control programme as a critical need and I assumed they try hard but we would be glad to hear by when the problem of stray dogs will be solved.
Dogs are everywhere but it is quite odd to see dogs in urban areas whereby it’s a place for high dignitaries, high population and attraction for tourists. Dogs pose a high risk to people. We have to armed with weapons to keep dogs at bay while we come out of our houses and when we go back home from the work place.
Behind these problems of getting bitten there are some other additional problems. There is nothing more infuriating than to constantly have noise created by dog(s) invading our homes. It completely ruins a person’s ability to listen to music, watch a movie, read a book, meditate, study for a class, work on a speech, take a nap, and countless other things especially during nights.
There is something the concerned authority needs to do to control the dog population than to let people get bitten and spend millions of Ngultrums on the Anti-Rabies Vaccine to dog-bite victims.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Trip to Phajoding

There are places in Bhutan barely touched by humanity. Phajoding is one of them I found serenely beautiful. As it’s a mid-summer, varieties of flowers are blossomed. The scent of sang balu sulu spreads over the wide mountainous area. The most interestingly we got to see Bhutan’s national flower, blue poppy which is believed to be rare species that you won’t find in low lands. A giant chukar meto is abundantly available and I was shocked to learn from two young monks who were our full time companion during the trip to Dungtsho, that the stem of this very giant flower is eatable which taste bit sourer. If you got lost in the mountains this can be one of the survival food items. Nevertheless, this is also a place for abundantly growing white rhododendrons which blossoms beautiful flower sometime in autumn. However, the beauty in the world of flower and it’s scent is largely ephemeral. The nature is sometimes so brutal that they doesn’t let beautiful things to live long.

There are as many as more than ten traditional temples in Phajoding and pristinely clean holy waters available at the top most temple so called Thuja dra. Most surprisingly we got to see future Buddha imprinted on the boulder rock. When I asked one of our guide monks if it is artificially painted? He said it’s naturally existing but we couldn’t get the concrete information about from when it is started existing as our guide monks were too young.
The journey was quite arduous until we reached final destination but I am pretty sure we enjoyed every moment of our journey. As when we ascend from Phajoding monasteries we got to see many lakes in which our destination could be till Dungtsho( a giant lake about three hours walk from Phajoding and have many historical values). Before we finally reached Dungtsho, I happened to see Simkotama lake. This lake is most frequently featured in Bhutanese movies. I have been dreaming to see this lake since long time back. The most incredible thing about this lake is that the existence of small island in the lake.  I was inwardly satisfied and joyful to see this lake. I felt like I have achieved something great in my life after seeing this lake.

It was on 8th July 2016, the auspicious day in Bhutanese calendar. Thirteen of us made our two days trips to Phajodhing whereby we have visited all the temples of Phajodhing and of course the lakes above the Phajoding. Just as we reached there, we were warmly welcomed by monks. The monks were very kind, friendly, sociable and jolly at times where we enjoyed talking many funny things. Within this short period of time I have developed an immense attachment with the people and surroundings of that place. I found leaving this beautiful place is a real wrench but only to hope that I have next chance to visit again.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Need to monitor use of foul language

I am deeply shocked by a incident involving a police personnel in Thimphu using a foul word and shouting at drivers. It happened during the 11th Royal University of Bhutan graduate convocation held at RIM Semtokha on June 7. After the convocation ceremony, hundreds of graduates were walking on the road side going back to their homes.
It so happened that two vehicles were at the dead-lock position and they both blew their horns for their safety. At the same time four police personnel were on their bicycles cycling towards Olakha. One of the police personnel shouted a particular Bhutanese foul word.
I couldn’t understand if the drivers were wrongly honking but there were peo-ple going home and walking along with their friends. Some blushed after hearing such a foul word from the police personnel. There were others who were embar-rassed.
It’s not that I have unto-ward feelings to the police and therefore am writing this open letter in Kuensel. I have true respect for our police for their ceaseless efforts to reduce crime in the country,
but such behaviour from the police is not expected. There is a need to monitor properly.

Published in Kuensel dated 9th June, 2016 in MY SAY.