Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Elephant is a Fence Breaker: the Challenges with Conservation and Livelihood: What Need to be done? By Whom?

Elephant is a Fence Breaker: the Challenges with Conservation and Livelihood: What Need to be done? By Whom?

1.      The State of Environment

With the advent of modernization developments are on rise to feed the need and greed of rising population. At the same time challenges to rising population are seen in different ways. The ecosystem “degraded” with increase of pressure to environment. Everything on environment seems to be prioritized as human’s asset. What is left on environment without explored? Can we say our environment is virgin? We cannot just boast over our rich biodiversity. Yes, we have more than 80% forest coverage but, are our farmers still happy and safe from rising issues from wildlife depredation on crops and livestock? Aren’t we failing to meet the need of rising population with development?

2.     Development and the Challenge

Nichula is by far one of the “underdeveloped” geog in southern Bhutan. The geog is not only challenged by climatic conditions like heavy rainfall in summer blocking all road connectivity but also with rising issues of Human Elephant Conflict (HWC). The geog farm road has been blocked with landslide few months ago and people are now facing the pressure of Elephant. Who is responsible to maintain?

Phibsoo wildlife Sanctuary has successfully installed electric fencing covering 5km of the area in 2016. The fencing has been challenged with damage of machine from lightening causing it to be short circuited. Repeatedly, the maintenance has been carried out supplying wires and machines. Even then, the problem cannot be solved as the machine is being damage by lightening repeatedly.

There is exactly two “wild” Elephant which has been repeatedly causing damage to the assets of the community. It knows well enough to cope with electric fencing. Yes, electric fencing has benefited but time has ripe to look for different measures as the animal is intelligent enough to cope with the challenge. “Elephant is now a fence breaker”. Beekeeping is found as good measure to drive away elephant in some part of the country. Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary has discussed on it and derived a resolution to adopt the practice in Nichula geog. Creation of artificial salt lick is another activity that we have prioritized in reducing elephant pressure.

3.     Stimulus and Reaction

As public servant placed in the remote village, we the forest rangers has been providing continuous service of chasing elephant irrespective of time and day.  But, it is also very sad to see less public cooperation in the work we are doing. There are several careless people who need to be monitored and watched to do the work which actually is of their responsibility. The electric fencing poles after damage by elephant is left un-erected and maintained. The fact is often the poles become the pole to tie cattle.
People don’t hesitate to say we are paid to chase elephant by the state with salary. Yes, they have every right to say but with logical statement. We are actually doing more than what is mention in our job description. It is not that we expect in return for the extra work. We need to see changes to the village. Even in Saturday and Sunday we often do not have rest. We have given public as priority and attended in the works like maintenance of electric fencing which was done with the convenience of people. We have been after Elephant carrying weapons many a time. We promptly reacted anytime though there are many inconvenience. To be with weapons and chase Elephant has associated risk. Firstly, to travel all way to Lhamoyzingkha to get weapon is difficult as the area is challenged with road condition. Secondly, we as the conservationist have to keep in mind the safety of wildlife, human and assets during the incident. The only thing we can do is chase with a blank fire which often does not satisfy the people.

4.     A Night in the Forest

In the evening of Blessed Rainy Day, when people in different part of country celebrated with laughter and joy, we the Rangers of Nichula had difficulty in chasing Elephant. It rained so heavily and we promptly reacted to chase away the Elephant after an order is passed on us. The people know how challenging it was for us with weapons on that night. Still then there are many who says we are there just as a presence. The fact is no sooner did elephant enter the boundary; we are call to chase it away. They don’t try themselves first and even if they can chase away we are called to chase. This isn’t a win-win situation especially during night to attend to situation which is almost an hour journey.
Yes, it is so sad to see the crops being damage by the elephant. We share the grievances of people together when we see the fruit of hard-work being destroyed in minutes. Elephant is endangered species given conservative importance by the world and government. We are there to ensure its safety and value but at the same time we are there to help community and ensure them safe from wildlife issues. But, in the place like Nichula we cannot only ensure the people happy if different stake holders like people, government, project agencies don’t play role.

5.                 SWOT Analysis for the Human Elephant Conflict at Nichula

A.      Strength

    i.      According to the feedback provided by the people, after initiation of electric fencing the pressure to crops has been reduced for a year.
  ii.      Electric fencing has been covered in all Chiwogs of Nichula. The geog agriculture extension together with Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary covered with recent electric fencing in all area of Bichgoan. This covers to more than 17 km of solar fencing in the geog.

B.      Weakness

           i. Poor maintenance and carelessness from the people. The electric fencing poles and lines are remained un-corrected after damage. Sense of belongingness is lacking with the people.

         ii.  Repeated damage of machine by the lightening. The current machine “S5” isn’t suitable in the place.
       iii.    mproper functioning of Quick Response Team and less participation from people during Elephant chase away.
       iv.      Lack of understanding with the cooperation and people in the village. The work like electric fencing remained divided which after all is duplication. Had FMCL, joined with public, there could have been extra machines to cover up the area with good current.

C.   Opportunities

           i.      The costly machine MS/UNIQUE is found suitable in the area. The only machine supported      by geog is still functioning when many of other machines got damage by lightening.
         ii.      Since the area is pressured by repeated incident, original wire which does not rust is found to   be suitable so that it become win-win measure.

D.      Threats

           i.      If the incident continues there is every chance that our farmers’ crops become the feed of elephant. Every night farmers are losing the crops to wildlife.
         ii.      If the current machine and wire is not replaced with good one, the conflict cannot be reduced. The only means of chasing will be tedious for farmers and wildlife managers.

6.     The Dream of Correction. What is needed?

a.      People/Public

The sense of belonging has to be developed to the people. Electric fencing is a mitigation measure to reduce elephant entry. There is no guarantee that it can prevent it from entering. With service comes responsibility, it is the true responsibility of people to maintain the fencing post, wires, machines and do timely clearing as per the bylaws. There are many cases of people being ignorant and leaving the post un-erected after the damage. The fact is electric fencing post became the pole to tie cattle. Many machines are damage directly connecting the circuit without using the adapter. Guard the crops, electric fencing does not guarantee the elephant from entering. It will reduce the pressure as people have experienced in the last years. Moreover, elephants are cleaver enough to challenge the measure. Make the quick response team function. We have experienced little participation from the community during chase away. If all participate and chase, there is no need to chase elephant with weapon.
           i.      Implementer: The local government and geog administration must encourage and correct the people with this regard. Since they are the representative of people, they can change the mindset of people if strict rules are regulations are set for it. The bylaws go weak when the technology doesn’t bring much benefit. People get hopeless and discontinue which later impact themselves.

7.      Project Implementer and agencies: 

Project agencies like government institutions, geog institutions and NGOS have been helping in every walks to address the HWC issues. If project implementer make good proposal to get quality wires which does not rust and get good machines designed for elephant. The issues could be solved. According to the feedback from the people the machine MS/UNIQUE functions well and does not get damage. The original wire which doesn’t get rusted is needed. Singye geog is known for its success against HEC, the geog has metallic poles which is good enough to face elephant. If the implementers could manage such assets from agencies this could help in reducing Human Elephant Conflict.
a.       Implementer: Geog agriculture extension and wildlife manager are responsible for proposing the assets since they are the one who have started the project. They can really implement it because they have adequate knowledge of the situation. The geog administration can also help in funding to buy the assets as this could be one of the real developments if successful.

8.     Government

In the last ten years our farmers have lost their crops sometimes during their start and in end at the time of harvest. It is very sad to see their product being lost in front of our eyes. Needless to say, I wonder if our farmers have been benefited with crop compensation. If the compensation schemes haven’t been functioning it is high time that it be started.
a.       Implementer: The elected member of National Council and Assembly of the area is responsible to address the issue in the parliament. To start a corruption free compensation scheme need to be started by the government. Development of national policies for problem elephants and encourage research into alternative HEC management options.

7. The SAFE Approach to Human Wildlife Conflict

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is widely known for its consistent support toward conservation throughout. In most of our conservation projects, it acts as a stepping stones towards achieving the objectives. Recently, with the support from WWF, we the team (Wildlife managers, local leaders, resource person) had done thorough discussion and identified certain measures for mitigating Human Wildlife Conflict. The SAFE approach according to their verbal announcement proved to be successful in many geogs which has been challenging with HWC.
SAFE approach aims to bring safety in person/people, assets and wildlife through six elements. The elements include policy, prevention of conflict, mitigation, response to conflict, understanding the conflict and monitoring.  It compiles HWC information, does rapid assessment, develop strategy, implement strategy and monitor.

7.1 Activity Listed for Mitigating HWC

  •  Creation of Community Forest, Private Forest, Salt lick enrichment, introduction of fodder trees in forest, Afforestation and reforestation to improve the habitat and ecosystem as whole.
  • Introduction of hybrid cattle, milk processing unit, farmers group and cooperatives to reduce pressure to environment and at the same time create source of income generation and employment opportunities.
  •  Introduce new variety of crops, cereals and vegetables for income generation.
  • Maintenance of electric fencing with suitable machines and wires. Rectification of angle projection'
  •  Ecotourism along Sunkosh for income generation through rafting, birding and other environmental services.
  •  Sustainable Land Management programs for protecting the asset. Through such programs habitat is more likely to improve.
  •  Introduction of proper crop insurance scheme to address the grievance of farmers after loss of crops to wildlife and also for the safety of wildlife.

                    “When will the SAFE Approach come? Will the SAFE bring Safety?”
                                             “My Personal Views with Experience”



Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Day For Rangers


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have travelled long, sweat blood in the training and faced many obstacles in our journey. We have seen many self oriented people breaching rules and regulations. We are liked less by people including farmers, contractors and officials. But as a green warrior we have maintained our self esteem with much dedication and patriotism. Just like our dress code is outshining other military dresses, our department’s goals are getting fulfilled under the direction of good leaders. For long foresters have been neglected and helped less by the society. Moreover, in many places we see and hear many social feedbacks, comments, mistreats and unethical reactions by the society. Yet, we remained centered in achieving our vision and mandates.

Friends, we are the only guardians who hold valued pride in the country. We are the guardian of country’s most important asset the “Forest”. We are doctors to injured wildlife. In times of forest road construction we are engineers. In court we are lawyers defending our rules, regulations and act. Sometimes we are teachers teaching society right and wrong. We make advocacies as media, we are army in patrolling. We are the so called “Jack of All”. The “Jack” who provide clean water to drink, fresh air to breath and aesthetic beauty to witness.

Today from the core of my heart, I salute all rangers/foresters who have serve tirelessly in guarding natural resources. I pay my respect to all those who have lost their lives in duty and to those who are serving today, I join in celebrating and wish “Happy World Rangers Day”. Today marked an unprecedented occasion in our life as for the first time the green warriors are given a day to hold pride with their career. The most empowering and encouraging move which must be remembered all the time.

Needless to say, in the last six month I have experienced and faced many challenges crossing mountains and peaks, tired, hungry and dehydrated to get the enumeration of forest and wildlife. As a southern paramilitary, life is challenging as the patrolling has to be always with weapons in borders. Road and light connectivity is another obstacle which shakes the peace of southern forester especially at Nichula. Lights get cut off by weeks and road get blocked and eroded due to flash floods. The only means and vehicle “foot” remains active all day and its fuel consumption is only known by people who walk from that road.

Heartfelt to say, I don’t just celebrate this day verbally wishing all rangers “A Happy Rangers Day” rather, I have few messages to be told to all people from different walks of life. With exploitation of human population the pressure on environment has increased, many developmental projects are increasing and at the same time we are benefitted from such projects. However, every year we see rise in forest fires and waste issues due to negligence. A farmer must play his role with control burning of agricultural debris and should monitor his activities properly. To clean his surrounding and land to keep away from waste is his fundamental duty. You can’t just keep watching foresters picking wastes every 9th of month.

Students are the most energetic and alive youngsters who have strong energy to move every obstacles. It’s the duty of students to carry initiatives related to environment. I was a student like you; I remember my commitment put in combating waste issues. I was a “Trash or Waste Management club” captain in college days. We as a team could convert waste in to money which is enough to generate club seed money. Today when I reflect upon my work I feel I have served my purpose and fulfill my duty as a student. Friends, we have that social stigma where one should be rewarded of any work we do. If you expect in return of any work you do, you are not doing anything for the society other than your personal benefit. You have that energy to change community and it is your responsibility as educated personal to teach your parents of waste management and environmental issues. If you do you are so called “Gentle Students”.

I respect teachers for their commitment put in changing the life of student. For morning eight to four, you all rendered the service tirelessly. As a life changer how beautiful it would be if all school in the country has a club called “Waste Management Club”. A club which not only help in keeping school clean but also help community in understanding the disadvantages of waste. For an example; we could see the condition of public toilet before and after formation of Bhutan Toilet Organization. Likewise, I feel your institute can bring good changes in combating waste issues.

Businessman including shopkeepers and private institutes, it is your responsibility to keep you environment clean. How beautiful it would be if shop keeper could tell a kid not to litter the plastic after he/she has eaten the stuff bought from the shop. It is not that we can’t do rather we are too much in personal benefit forgetting the services rendered by the society. So, let us combat such issues together and contribute to this country. A country which must remain green for all times to come.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Search: A journey of weightless sperm till invisible mind

         
“There are so many gifts
Still unopened from your birthday,
There are so many hand crafted present
That has been sent to you by god,
The beloved does not mind repeating,
“Everything I have is also yours.”
There are so many gifts, my dear,
Still unopened from your birthday.” Hafiz

Life, the only precious gift crafted to us by god will never be so easy and smooth. Because it’s so precious and because it’s so hard to get can never be always a “bed of roses”. From birth till death our life seems to end by searching over something like money, job, luxury, love, happiness etc... Before we are born, millions of sperm started searching for an egg to fertilize. But, only a healthy, fittest and most competent one has found it. The rest gave up because it never realized the unopened birth gifts. We are that successful sperm that has completed the search before and now we are born to search our birth gifts.   For those who feel your emotional life is a function of someone else’s weakness disempowering yourself and empowering those weaknesses to mess your life up, I will share my challenges, a set back where I was particularly searching something to survive.
Born to a simple peasant, I have walked miles and rode less. Walking without slippers I started my schooling from a remote school. I have harsh memories of my parents suffering to get my school fees. Life then was never easy but I have never been so emotional. I walked my head high because I realize there are still thousands who are like me in fact who are worse than me. I continue my search to higher grade. Lower school to Middle to Higher and last the College. The search after college could be one of the most challenging tasks for me. I have only minimum qualification in ride modern environment.
Search for the Job
1st of August 2016, I started exploring the beauty of nature at Jigme Dorji National Park one of the largest National Parks in the country. Under the guidance of visionary foresters, it has boosted my confidence level in searching for my next mission. After completion of month long internship at the park, I continued my search at Wangdue Forest Division. The division with very competent foresters has brightened my way making it smoother and clearer. I have been engaged with every activity that was undertaken by the division. Walking in cold enumerating natural resources, tired and hungry I walked step ahead in searching so called “JOB”. Searching for job never was difficult task nor a thing to be worried of. I knew and I am confident enough to grab it. In mid-december I made and completed one of my important missions. A goal where every student make and every parents dream of. To get a job and stand of their own is the dream where 99% of students make.
The Drama of Modern Search: The Education
Witnessing the drama of people from different walks of life, I often feel the search over birth gift is never going to end even after “death”. Needless to say, with rise in qualification our so called “search” multiplies. We want more of luxuries even though we don’t need it. We Doctorate in Philosophy (phD), Masters in many programs and have higher qualifications. But we never feel  contended. Rather, with rise in qualifications I have seen egotism on rise. Walking chest out, blaming on the system to make system of system and debating till you convince others that you are right. Actually, people are meant to be humble with knowledge of wisdom and compassion when qualification increases because you are the leader who has walked miles ahead. Your thinking level is higher than brainless people like me to lead with more of “wisdom”.
Who Are You!
A poor farmer wakes early in the morning, goes to field and does farm activities thinking to make his life more comfortable. He comes out with a spade on his shoulder happily in the evening. He is happier if his hard work is rewarded with fruit of every seed he saw. He is also filled with sadness if his fruit is ruined with natural disasters. Because there is no guarantee for the success of his work. After few years of working he will be a self reliant farmer with every needs in front. He was a farmer and he will be farmer till end.
A civil servant also wakes in the morning and goes to office. He does his work with full of commitment. He is happy if his work is rewarded with acknowledgement and given his entitlement accordingly. Few years from now he might have a land with small house if not some savings in bank revealing his success. He was a student in the start and becomes farmer or businessman or “jack of all” at the end.
A businessman wakes early in the morning; toil hard to make good income. He is successful if he has good amount of profit and if not the otherwise. After few years if his plan works, he will be entrepreneur with monies backstopping his success. He was a businessman in the start and he becomes entrepreneurs at end with monies.
A true monk/nun wakes early in the morning; work hard to achieve his target. He will never have happiness and sadness if he is really a true monk. Because he knows he is away from the luxuries of world and knows the essence impermanence. After years of study and practice he becomes more humble and companionate. He was a monk when he started and he will be a monk but a monk with wisdom in the end.
We are born by searching, are you going by searching?
As I mentioned in the start, we are born after successful search of healthy sperm. We have played the drama with series of search. Whether to end the search or to continue the search lies in the hand of every individual. Actually, I am none other than useless fellow to write and speak on this topic. But, I am who likes to search over my birth gifts. The gift sent by god in this short period of life time. If you have really opened the birth gifts crafted to you by god, I perceive you will have less homework when you go. All people; Farmer, Civil servants, Businessman and Monk have only one thing that we don’t need to search. That’s the “death”. No one will go searching death and all will have to pass by the hand of “undertaker”. ARE YOU GOING BY SEARCHING?




Monday, May 1, 2017

A letter to my Teachers."Happy Teachers'Day"

Dear Teachers,
I wholeheartedly thank you for making me who I am today. I am born to a simple  peasant but nurtured by wealthy teachers like you all. I cannot be happy more than who I am today. My dreams and aspirations to become Ranger since young is brought in to reality through your  committed help. Teachers, I have waited long to unfold all my gratitude and wishes. Today, on the perfect day of yours I  pray for your beautiful tomorrows of good health and continues happiness. "          "Happy Teachers' Day"
By the age of six, I was groomed to be careful listener, eloquent speaker and influential writter guiding in every downs of my life. My goals are made ready every start of the day. I  toiled hard, respected your words and fulfilled my dreams only because of you. Teachers, wherever you are, I have my heartfelt gratitude for making me a man who is ready to help parents, friends and a man who serve his country. What else should I aspect than becoming a civil servants who guards the country's most important assets the environment. I breath fresh air, watch beautiful biodiversity, drink fresh water and travel to every corner rejoicing the beauty of nature. My dear Teachers, you have played more than your role as a teacher infact a life changer. Teachers I salute you.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Chapter 2: Karma's Odyssey to Tashigang

Even the Natural Resource College seems to be tired after a week long examination. Students were thoroughly scrutinised in past two weeks with series of logical questions. 30th November marked as the liberation day for all those cage birds. football ground, volleyball and basketball court were never seen vacant since then. All play field seems deserted but remain oblivious except to those mindful onlookers. Girls cheered for their favourite team while boys showcased their styles. The natural stadium with pine leaves blocking the direct sun rays provided perfect shade for viewers while rocks and stumps remains as their chairs. However, in the middle of artificially created garden, the magnificent, lush and green area is always reserved for me. Quenching the thirst of nature amateur exploring beauty of nature beyond my lens has geared in outshining many who loves to reserve the area. Just like Tashi and Sonam, the saga of tasteless food and sleepless night has descended upon many lovers in the last few hours of their departure.

In the morning of 1st December, the sun was just above the horizon. many of the rooms were locked, some of my friends were packing their belongings to be reached far away land to Phuntsholing and Tashigang. I for the last time went to visit the site to say goodbye. No sooner did I enter the gate, I heard a whisper. anxiously but slowly I geared upon the path and saw Tashi and Sonam tieing the bond of love with kisses.I was numbed for a minute surprised. regretting for the visit, I could not move a minute otherwise my presence will be noticed.

"Excuse me, What are you doing here? Didn't you know people are hardly allowed in?" I said impatiently.
"Sorry Karma, we are here to make our last promise before departing home. the environment is supremely tranquil and silent here,"Tashi replied gratefully.
"It's okay.I have been maintaining the site since first visit." I replied regretting for the words.

"After seeing the stars dancing in the moonlit sky last evening, we were driven to see glittering sun beams of winter morning.The view is spectacular," Sonam said smiling.

Overwhelmed by their words, our conversation continued for an hour.
"Tashi...Tashi. the car has arrived please get ready,"Dorji called hurriedly.
Tashi geared towards his room to pack his belongings while Sonam disappear in a minute to her room.

As the sun climbed the horizon, I heard birds singing.The butterflies were busy waving their wings. I quickly glanced at my watch and saw it's 7:00 AM. I thought for a nap since I still have two hours before Tashigang Bus arrive.I set an alarm and rested on a green natural bed dreaming.
"Didn't your father come to pick you up?" Dorji asked smiling while Sonam packed her baggage.
"He said he is on the way"
"Where is Tashi, isn't he ready? I haven't seen him around an hour," she sounded so apprehensive.

Tashi quickly ran towards Sonam as the driver blew the horn.He hugged her for the last time and kissed her on forehead. As the car moved, tears pooled their eyes and all they could do was wave their hands.

The alarm did not ring nor did my friends come to wake me up. I was deeply into dreams in the garden.It was the bombing sounds that woke me up. Bombings were frequent those days as the high way  construction was in process. I hurriedly looked at the clock and saw I was late by 30 minutes.
For that moment nothing matters to me.Neither garden nor my belongings.I picked my phone and chased the bus in a Taxi until Chuzom bridge. The driver has just stopped for a breakfast.

Thanks to the road maintenance crew otherwise my last ticket of Tashigang Bus would have been missed. For the first time bombing sounds sooth like a melodies which otherwise I keep complaining of.
As the bus crossed  peaks and meadows, I ventured in to dreams tired by the incidences...



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Chapter One: The Lover's Call

Exactly a year ago,on a glorious winter morning in 2015. Tashi has entered into the world of relationship. A twenty one year old college student who was very simple, silent and who shy away from his friends has turn away his character. Talkative,jolly,funny and proactive are few of his new characters blossom in a month after his paradigm shift leaving all his friends awestruck.

All people around him were shocked, even his favourite botany lecturer was surprised when he stood boldly to answer a question. In a week every corner of college gets ubiquitous by the murmur of Tashi's new behaviour. Days melted in to weeks and weeks in to months. Tashi became more popular and well known within its enchanting environment.

Dorji his childhood and best friend was dump founded when he witnessed him on the stage singing a song. His eloquent and rhetorical lyrics gets in to the veins and nerves of him. Infact the audience chaired by dzongkhag secretary gave an outstanding ovation. Unprecedented in Dorji's life tears of joy rolled over when he saw him being pleasingly accompanied by gorgeous,impeccable and young lady outside the auditorium. "Did he ever drink from the fountain of youth? Or Did he drink  elixir from the hands of God to be the most eloquent singer? Dorji's head turn into 360° with series of questions.
Eager by the change, he moved slowly towards them and sat beside in a new canopy constructed by them a month ago.

"Congratulations Tashi"
"The audience were impeccably amused by your rhetorical song".
"Thank you so much" Tashi said with a toothy grin.

"But, what happened to you. I can't believe if you are the Tashi I have known before. You have changed a lot. Is everything alright?" Dorji said hesitantly with his eyes on his girlfriend. She seems to be kind and faithful.They were romantically holding hands tightly just like a glue stick to paper.
"Yes, I am perfectly fine. The only thing is I dumped the baggage of my tiresome past. Everything in my new life is witnessed from a freshing perspective. As I opened my hearts with love, I felt the only reason for life is to chase my dreams".

Dorji is wordless and all he remembered saying was,"That's great...That's great". They talked for an hour until he realised he has ruined their magical time. He hasn't spoken a word to the girl sitting next to him in last one hour.

"Who is she?" Dorji said as if he wasn't aware of their romantic acts. Deep in his heart he is so hesitant for not speaking a word to her.
"Sonam, she is Sonam my soul mate".
Sonam's face reddened like a ripened plum when she heard them talking about her.

"You are gorgeous and charming. Where are you from?I haven't seen you before" Dorji said before the plum could really fall.
"Thank you. I am from Dawakha one of the village at paro. I joined college recently as a agricultural student.I heard many about you from Tashi. Nice meeting you", Sonam said in a very low voice with her head bent showing a trait of well deciplined students.
"Nice meeting you, please feel free.  I am his best childhood friend. A final year student in Environmental Science. See you around and please feel free if I can be of help anytime". Dorji start on his bike and disappeared in minutes to his home waving them goodbye.

Dorji could not sleep whole night remembering what he has just witnessed. The paradigm shift in the character of his friend. Series of questions floated in his mind spontaneously until he came to the resolution as Sonam his soul mate as the catalyst for change. By then, the morning alarm rang to wake him up. He hasn't slept an hour. He quickly woke and plug in the water boiler to get is tea ready. Behind he thought he will be the first person to get punished from miss Kenley for sleeping in class.

No sooner did Dorji leave home, than they leave to their respective hostel for study. Sonam I mentioned is a daughter of country's richest man Dendup. Unlike her kins she love to live the life of ordinary. Never did she once act rich rather, her simplicity moved all fallow mates to be humble and magnanimous. She is a role model for all girls and an apple of an eye for many boys. Her mother Pelmo died of heart disease leaving Sonam to be horticulturalist as her testament.
Since then, Sonam centered her goals and dreams to fulfil her mother's will. Her father Dendup is bother less about it, rather keeps on chasing the luxury of this materialistic world. He is always apprehensive of losing his dignity as the richest man. He often skip his daily meals for works and sleeps only four hours. Even in his sixties he never keep away chasing gold and diamond and never listen to anyone. All that utter from his mouth is a same phrase,"Life is beautiful if you are the richest".

Strained by what she has witnessed in the day. She picked her phone and dialled to Tashi." I am really surprised by what I heard from Dorji today. Wasn't you like it before? Who are you?"

Tashi took a long breath and said," my dear, I thought you have read the diary I gave a month ago. Ever since I lost my father in 2001, I felt I am the loneliest person in world. My world was full of melanchony and sadness. There wasn't glory, luxury and live until I met you. My morbid and live less expression were hated by many people around. I was very silent. I never sang and dance. Infact I have never been on stage until today. My mother left finding step father and we hardly meet a year. My sister is married to a doctor in Monger. I am all left alone and I...." ,Tashi said with tears rolling over his cheeks.

Wordless by what she has just heard, tears sheded from her eyes like a summer monsoon and in a very low voice she said," I am sorry, please forgive me for asking". "It's okay dear". Tashi hung the phone and get in to the bathroom to rinse his body.

Saddened by the words she directly move towards the bookshelf and picked up the red diary given by him. When she unlock the password, on a first page she saw a phrase," The gateway of true lover". Eagerly she flipped pages by pages until she reach to the last page. It took an hour to throughly cover it. Some were letters written to his father, some about his life and mostly were written about his love towards her. All she could do was cry over it.

Instantly after she finished reading she called him back  and said, " I love you more dear, please don't leave me". Tashi has waited for these words, the words of trust from his lover for months and he happily replied,"I love you too, there is no reason for me to leave you". They talked for hours and hours. Their dreams and future castle were built with words through phone. As if they aren't going to meet again all their future were romantically discussed. It was until morning when their battery gets dead the call ended. Tashi has felt unprecedented happiness and so did Sonam in her life. They rushed towards their study table to get their homework done otherwise their names will be showcased on the notice board. Moreover only a week is left to begin their final examination.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

*Foresters Guard Forest while you Guard Furniture*

Drinking from  the fountain of youth in the mystical land of Sarpang, I am compel to rekindle every maneuver from the freshing perspective. Before sunrise I soake myself in glittering sunbeams of winter morning. Before napping on bed, I witness the stars dancing in the moonlit sky. Between that enchanting environment, I have odyssey with with so vibrant and alive foresters of Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary. An astounding serenity within its enchanting environment is seen by every foresters of the land. Birds are our rhetorical singers, maneuver by trees are an impeccable dancers and jungle our most invited guest rooms and platform to showcase the talents of nature. Even then,  behind every forester there is always an awaited story to be narrated otherwise the social stigma of foresters being economically vibrant will never adjourne it.

I have seen days melting into weeks in those jungle enumerating the resources. I have felt the tears from every pores of my cells under scorching sun and, I have seen the hardships faced by those paramilitary in dense forests. Instead of taking this things into consideration,  with modernisation economic pressures are on rise, the support to conservationist are dwindling and those fanciful onlookers perceive foresters as barrier to their survival. Anthropogenic forest fires are on rise to comfort their small luxury like growth of lemon grasses in eastern Bhutan. Illegal acts are accelerating in fast pace like felling of trees, catching of fish without permit and smuggling of protected species. Waste is another thing to be concerned by the people, rather foresters collect and clean their own forest every 9th of the month as if it is the punishment given upon us for living in their area.

If you examine every forester at the end of the day, you will see their lifeless eyes with morbid expression powdered by  dust particles vividly.If you go in their offices you will see the offices under furnished in most cases. But, if you go with them in forest, you will see the solidarity enrapturing them. Just like civil cervants in towns, they will also love to have elegantly furnished offices with good Internet facilities but we don't have because we guard the trees while you guard the furniture. We clean your littered waste while you clean your houses. We guard the rivers while you drink the fresh water. We guard the wildlife while you adopt it as pet animals. And at end  we help build your houses while we stay in forests. But, I still don't understand the rational behind every people littering the forest irrespective of educated or not. Why their is still forest fires after so much of advocacies and awareness? Why their is still mischievous acts to foresters after they put their perseverance guarding your resources?

Brothers and sisters, do you know foresters had covered whole country on foot enumerating the forest. They produced a fact saying 81.27% of our country is under forest cover. For months and years they stayed in jungle while you enjoy happily with your family. You travel on cars but they walk by foot. They risk their lives from wild animals and poachers while you enjoy in towns. And still many says foresters are well paid. But, I say you are wrong. We are in to loss both physically and mentally. Compare our life in forest with yours in town. But, I can happily say we are contended because we are the guardian of country's core asset which is considered most prestigious. What is more important than air,water, soil and trees?. Ladies and gentlemen, if you are serving ladies and gentlemen then time has ripped to act as one and build a better nirvana for our younger generation.

Plant a tree, you plant a life. A tree takes 60-100 years to reach its rotation. It is at that period a tree reach its harvesting time. Do you think you can live 100 years? Don't you think planting a tree if successful is as good as planting a life? But, even if you cannot plant a tree atleast do not damage it. Even if you cannot pick the wastes please take care of your own wastes. You can do that because you are responsible for it. As lord Buddha said,"Forest are the peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for it's sustenance and extends protection to all beings offering shade even to the axeman who destroys it". Please save forest and value all foresters......



Thursday, February 16, 2017

My imprisonment was never an outcry

I have heard of many similar summer calls, the most irritating and bothering call which I have no power to condem it. For years, I have settled with  mutual understanding between us. Though  I am not so kind have showered some sympathy on it for years and years.But, today an outrageous call arrive at wrong time which have stimulated every hormones and brain cells to respond very fast. The space between stimulus and response have been misutilised when I found a victim dead on the floor unwittingly. Luckily, with the absence of witness, I am saved from the life imprisonment  to three days. I would not have killed it if it has given me at least a miscall. But, for the victims soul I have performed all the rites and prayers." MAY YOU REST IN PEACE".For those who wished to hear the incidence, I will share with due permission from the victims soul and utmost respect from undertaker. May you take this into consideration.

In the evening of 16 th February, before my recent routine of prayers a different call rang.  " Pewww...Peww......"Pewwwww.....Pewww". I was surprised to see its early call at wrong time. I have warned many a time to atleast miscall me before call. But, it was heedless to my kind request. First, it slapped on my cheek and worsened my fairness which am really concern of. Second, it gave a very piercing bite on my leg. With much of compassion I have blown it with soft air and  guaranteed it to give full priority in June-July. Again after few second of our discussion it injected right in the middle of my forehead. My impatience have been activated with blood pressure on rise. I double slapped it and found dead in between two beautiful walls supported by five beautiful pillars in each walls. Then I said," Be punctual, don't be over sincered and disturb me". Only then I realised mosquitoes are really punctual than human to come in time. Though summer is yet to come, I could not think of the bites it has started from the late winter.

Malaria is what southern people are much concerned of. Even a particular medical staff has been placed to combat the disease in season. I now realise the change in climate with rising human population have severed impact on the lives of people. Mosquitos are rather sent to select the fittest one like Darwin's theory of Natural Selection. Because climate change is anthropogenic and Mosquitos have right to call anytime. Never blame Mosquitos blame yourself, if you court case in undertaker's place you will be life sentenced. I am luck to get three days of imprisonment.

BUT, I WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR ENEMY MOSQUITOES......



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Forester in the Middle of Virgin Forest

In the mystical land of Bhutan blessed by almighty lord Ugyen Guru, In the "subtropical zone" flourished by subtropical Himalayan forest lie Phibsoo Wilife Sanctuary the virgin conservation area bordered along Assam Duars. Despite being the smallest protected area in the country, the Sanctuary is rich in biodiversity starting from small herbs to charismatic wildlife like Elephants. The area is also known with presence of globally threatened species Golden Langur and Rufous-necked Hornbill. Sal forest and chital are best striking characteristics which outshine the protected area from all other parks,wildlife sanctuaries and strict nature reserve. The smallest conservation area covering 269 Sq.  km has become my stepping stone of career ladder. After a month of provision from park, I am taking some time to share my personal odyssey, a maneuver which one might consider an un-impeccable fanciful time consuming trash but I have longged to meet my passion of writing until today.

Sitted along a window side of Gelephu Bus, I enjoyed the spectacular view of the southern Bhutan with its enchanting environment on 16 th January 2017. It was a most thrilling and liberating time to leave the baggage of tiresome past. A setback with full of competition, worries and a saga of tasteless food and sleepless nights. Like most civil servants who join in service for the first time, I was also thrilled with 101 points in mind. Some worries, some happiness and above all awestruck about the working condition am to practically challenge. In fact,  I shouldn't have expected much not because am contended rather it is my job that I have sacrifice all other opportunity cost. Should a Forester expect the luxury other civil servants enjoy in towns? Rather, I should be striving to make this country's most important assets sustain perpetually for all generations to come with much of field and realistic work. With so much of thoughts running back-fro in mind I realised I have reached to my destination at Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary.

What would be your first thought if you were placed in the most sensitive area of the country? An area where Foresters are challenge not only by miscreants but also by dangerous animals like Elephants and Guar. Needless to say like you have heard of challenges to conservationist, some might have conceived it as bother less  story but it is rather a true challenge. My first question was," How is the area? Lot of answer were been given by many people who came from the different walks of life. Some young into job like me,few in to midway to bronze and silver medal and very few in fact only one to Gold medal. They answered," the area is quite good....good...okay.... but have to be more cautious and concern every time. The summer is being challenged with heavy downpours and large rivers. The small stream of today become a gigantic river in July.  The area is also risky not only from miscreants but also from wildlife".  Wildlife? "Yes wildlife, Elephants and Guar are the most dangerous animals Foresters challenge during patrolling because it is very common here." But, till today they were successful with their solidarity.

Days melted in to weeks and exactly a month today within its enchanting environment. My lifeless eyes have now become vigilant and vibrant enough to make me more cautious. My body is being filled with vitality and abundant energy. My morbid expression has now become so vibrant and alive after I put my full dedication and strenuous commitment to the job am working. All those words once told have faded and I once again become an energetic youth. Rather, I am enraptured everything with the thrilling moment and view. The sun rays dancing above the horizon before I soaked in to its glittering sunbeams. The twinkling  stars and charming moonlight have made me feel youthful to drink every moment from the fountain of youth. For me the virgin environment is a bliss.

Birding has become the most inspiring passion for many conservationist. The scope on it are at rise. Many mask their face with camera and binoculars every second. Unwittingly, I have also grown it's passion though I lack the resources for it. Attaching with them has given me the instinct to radiate an energy of positivity where I am to make some scope in the society. For birders it is a right place as it provide home to more than 300 species of bird. One can witness the birds absent in other region as the area is diversified being in subtropical region. Moreover, the area forms an edge between India and Bhutan making home to both the birds adjoint. Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary though became operational only in few years ago is on the ladder to reach the final destination. The competent Forester and conservationist along with zealous Forestry officers is leading all the followers in right direction to explore the virginity of Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary.

*** Concluded for three moment, will get back soon***



Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thank You All------- I did it because of you

It has been long since the last update of my blog. I am really sorry for it. Today I write to thank all individual and organization which has been acting as a stepping stones towards the pathway of my self discovery. Firstly, my heartfelt gratitude to the kings of Bhutan for your evergreen benevolence and benediction. Secondly, my emmense gratitudes to my parents; father, mother, brothers and sisters for their love and support and making me who I am today. I would also like to thank Royal Government of Bhutan, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Forest, Royal University of Bhutan and Department of Forest and Park Services for their continuous service during my self discovery. Moreover, I thank all teachers and friends for guiding me towards the right path and servicing when am in need. Thank You so Much.

Well, am pretty sure almost all of my supporters are happy with my new accomplishment as Forest Ranger. The opportunity cost of this course isn't a thing to be neglected by many. Otherwise, many may have opted for other degree courses but my way was different as I wanted to have qualification with experience. For a man like me, who is from a background of simple peasent, this is indeed a big achievement as I will be in the poisition to serve the country and my kins. I have travelled long, experienced much and realised the meaning of life in the last six months. I did not do my internship at capital city not because I don't like it. Every child and student will love to be at place where opportunities are right next to them. Infact, I statrted from Gasa, a place where country's second largest national park is located. I have explored the beauty of nature in every corner of the places and moreover I could learn the real pattern who park fuction.

Joining Wangdue Forest division for two moths has really made me compentent person. I was very lucky to have the conservationist who are very helpful and supportive. Not many of the students gets opportunity like me, a opportunity which makes people bold enough to face reality. I have travel many places to deal with people, and done inventory covering 30 km a day during that time. I have learnt beyound my expectation and am very bold enough to face the reality. Therefore, I thank Wangdue Forest division especially Forest Protection and Forest Resource Management Section for rendering such opportunities to me.

I realised the joy in the words of my parents. They have been waiting for this moment, a moment where father,mother, brother and sister dream for. I thank my parent and kins for their support in making me realise my dream. I as your son will work hard to be one ofbthe best person in the field am working for. Moreover, as a 60 th birth anniversary of my father and 56 th birth year to my mother, this achievement is dedicated for them a gift to my father and mother. Happy 60 Birth Year to Father and 56 Birth year to mother. May you live long to see your son shining in life...

THANK YOU ALL




Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy Blessed Rainy Day----Thurebab Lu Tashi Delek

"Happy Blessed Rainy Day"...... Happy Blessed Rainy Day......Happy Blessed Rainy Day.....
I could remember the thirst I had for the arrival of this day in my childhood. Filled with joy and excitement, I use to think of miracle to happen whole night with time.  "Faster and Faster" was  the only  notion and wish I  lived with. I could remember the rice porridge (Thug pa) almost half ready by the eve of Blessed Rainy day. That night used to be the most happy and exciting moment of my  life. I am sure many of you have experienced the occasion with much excitement and joy than me and still I feel the day is much awaited for many people. "Blessed Rainy Day" the marking of end monsoon season is celebrated throughout the country. The sanctifying water is believe to cleansed the bad karma accumulated by the individual. All rivers and waters are considered to be  "elixir " for at-least a week.

My mom and dad wakes early to get ready with the porridge and tea. Mixed with pork and cheese the porridge varies. I used to feel the charm  of day as I could taste the delicious food right from the morning. The bond of kinship is strengthened as it marks the gathering of all loved ones. I could happily taste the pork particularly meant for the day celebration whereas it is the nightmare for the pigs. Earlier, almost every household use to raise a pig for " Thruebab" (Blessed Rainy Day) but now with modernization people refrain from doing it because they get what they wish from the towns and shops. Moreover, killing is  believed the greatest sin from the Buddhist perspective.


Today, I am far away form my beloved parents. I have missed the same occasion many a time. Even then, I wish all my parents, friends and love ones a happy Blessed Rainy Day. I hope many of you have still the similar feelings and excitement that you once had for the day. Happy Blessed Rainy Day. May your sins and bad Karma get cleansed with the sanctifying water.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A letter to my Life

Respected X, Y ,Z and life

With due respect and humble submission I on behalf of all my diploma graduates would like to lay down few lines under your kind consideration please.  I am not other then one of the diploma graduates who pass out in last July from College of Natural Resources. After so much of handwork and rigorous efforts, I have managed to complete the course happily to serve my king, government and people. But today, I am stuck without any information from relevant agencies and department regarding the diploma graduates. Contacting to other students of my batch shares the same views and concerns. We at this point need to be heard by relevant agencies and you my life.

Last year, by this time of the year Royal Civil Services Commission of Bhutan (RCSC) have notified all the slots and vacancies for the diploma graduates. They were made confident to sit the examinations without any tension and  worries. But today we remain without any information form the relevant agencies. It has been now more than three months since graduation. I am walking in the dust almost 30 minutes from my home everyday to Wangdue Forest Division as intern to keep myself engaged in the profession I am supposed to be. I have strived last month in Gasa as intern to learn the forestry scenarios and to make myself practically oriented in the job. I have been positive that a day I may get positive news from the relevant agencies regarding the diploma graduates. 

My life, same is the case with my diplomats, all are tired in many place doing temporary jobs, tensed for future and still hoping for the news. It is now mid-September, I remember last year's viva examination was done by this time of the month but that doesn't mean same has to be done for us in-fact, the scenario changes every year. But, we are fair enough to be reminded of the date lines for our examination. I have seen the RCSC timeline for the degree pass outs. Everything is mention in that timeline for their time to appear examination but why not for us. Is it because we are diploma graduates and we don't deserved it or else the relevant agencies are never concerned of our future. The horse was taken by the owner to the river, it has drank the water quite good enough to quench the thirst. It is healthy and ready to carry any loads imposed on it. But my owner please don't overload the load just because previous horses had failed to carry it. It can only carry its own share and a little more.

My life, what is left for me undone to se my future...


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Heartiest Thanks to Staff of Jigme Dorji National Park

                                
We have been left in dilemma almost a month after our graduation from College of Natural Resources. It was at the end of July month where we have decided to do our internship at Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP). The park where rich biodiversity has bordered together with the bond of integrity, commitment and teamwork from the staffs to the conservation and development program. Moreover, the passion of exploring biodiversity with the staff has made us to gear up our interest in exploring the beauty of nature. We with your support and service have referred many books which not only upgraded our knowledge in plant and bird identification but also made us step ahead in identification skills and techniques. Therefore, we would like to thank all individual who have been the cornerstones during our stay at JDNP:
Firstly, we would like to thank The Park Manager for your support and services during the stay. It was through your service that we could upgrade our knowledge in many aspects. Moreover, your passion for learning and leadership quality has inspired us to be determined and positive in future endeavors. Secondly, heartfelt thanks to Forest Officer Mr. Rinzin Dorji for your kind arrangement and service to us. Though we did not know each other before yet you have treated us like your own brothers and family. We will never forget your kindness and help showered to us in such needy times. Your help is our greatest debt in life and we hope and pray for a day to repay you wholeheartedly. Thank you sir for enriching us with field advices and making us accessible to forestry books.
Thirdly, we would like to thank Forest Officer Mr. Pema and Sangay sir for your proactive role in making us engaged in works though there isn’t much activity to be done. We really understood how concerned you are in imparting knowledge to us. We always liked the way you encouraged us to come forward to learn. Thank you very much for making us competent to face the challenges in future. We really enjoyed the stay with your presence as we felt we are guided with strong and well knowledge personnel like you.
Lastly, we would like to thank all the section heads, forest rangers and staffs for your help and support. It was with your cooperation and support that we have really explored the nature and learn many things from the park. Moreover, your energetic service to tsa-wa-sum has encouraged to be stewardship in future endeavors. Thank you Mr. Sangay Tenzin sir for your proactive role in making us engaged in activities and also for your service at Gasa Hotspring. Thank you Kinley sir for letting us engaged in SMART patrolling workshop. We are made smart with the knowledge you have imparted to us. Thank you all for your farewell dinner and program. We are really touched by your program and we hope and pray for a day to repay you all. As an end note we would like wish all JDNP family for your beautiful tomorrows of good health, prosperity and successful endeavors. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

Gyeltshen
Tashi Phuntsho
Interns








Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A letter to CNR Waste Management Club

Dear friends
It has been a month since you joined back to College of Natural Resources. I am pretty sure you all are very busy in developing your carrier skills and upgrading knowledge. I hope for your good endeavors and bright tomorrows. Regards to all lecturers, brothers, and sisters and above all to hardworking team of College Waste Management Club.
Ever-since I thought of being a little steward, I have put my efforts and commitment in doing the work with full heart. I have never stayed backward and became gofer delegates during my stay which today gave me a great satisfaction. I am very happy that I did some great things in the place, society and country I lived in. It is not that I expected something in return from the work I have done rather there is a need for such kind of proactive role to move our society together.
Before the start of club, I felt very ashamed to put a proposal of Nu. 500 to College Management to fix the dustbins in and around the college campus. The rationale behind was the college has pass out 22 batches of student who were actually to be environment conservationist, society lover, locality developer and above all the main contributor of rural development. I have wondered why there isn’t any initiative taken before to build up some funds with the available resources to combat the issues the society is facing. Then, the waste management club was formed and started working tirelessly with collecting all kinds of trashes. At the end we had made around Nu.14, 000 as the fruit of our hard work. The money is with our club supervisor which is kept as club seed money so that future proactive environmentalist can use it in developing environment friendly ideas.
I feel very sad very to be deaf without any news from the College Waste Management Club. Dear friends, it is also very important to create awareness to the nearby people who is educated or not. It is not necessary to have banners depicting the waste management concerns. We are having access to the social weapons like facebook, wechat, twitter and many more.  Your little concern can make difference in the life of people. Because I have experienced that ever since I became the club member. I have used an important social media like facebook page and blogger to write my perceptions on the way I see things in the community I have been living. Some of them have given positive reactions where they are reminded of the issues we are facing.
As an end note, I like to share my feelings upon the perception of people with regard to waste. Many people even educated find waste management like invasive invasion as they feel the new generation with new thinking capability has to be born but I feel that waste management can be easy if there is collaborate work between the parents, teachers and students. The parents can take lead role in advising the children to take care of their own waste and also becoming themselves an exemplary model. Children are influenced by the behavior and environment we are creating to them. We can’t anymore keep on blaming to have clean environment without ingraining our younger generation with steward roles. So, I hope we could together bring changes to the society we are living in.

Thank you
Tashi Phuntsho

Ex- club president