On August 14, 2013, I had the honour of representing His Majesty and Dasho Dzongdag in delivering the Royal Semso to the mothers of the two natives of Nyakhar village in Zhemgang who both succumbed to the injuries that they suffered while a huge boulder hit them when they were drilling at the Buli-Tshaildang road construction site in Nangkor Gewog under Zhemgang Dzongkhag.
I felt really very sad! One of the victims was a disrobed monk and another was a school dropout. Had they continued to learn in their respective institutions, they might not have met this fate at the very tender age of 19 and 21! Of the two, one was not even one day old on the job! But this is the least reason of my sorrow.
While one of them passed away at around 01:30pm, the other one died at around 04:00pm. The villagers were not allowed to take the dead bodies back home because the investigations had to be carried out at the particular place where the accident occurred, which was quite a distance from their village and amidst a dense jungle. When the police investigation team and I, accompanied by the Local Leaders reached at the site, it was already 08:00pm and by the time when everything was done (from snapping the cuts and bruises of the victims to filling up the inquest forms), it was around 10:21pm. It would have taken them another hour and a half or even more than that to reach home; it was already getting late for the rituals of the two unfortunate ones. Yet, this is also not the major reason that I was sad.
I was also not frustrated because I arrived back home in Zhemgang at 3 in the morning.
What saddened me the most was that, when all the formalities were completed and when it was time for the villagers to carry the bodies back home, everybody was rushing to carry one body and literally neglecting the other one. Gosh, I was taken aback by the weird, callous deed! Upon asking the Tshogpa about why it was happening, he told me that while one was somewhat well off, the other one was very poor. The financial status was the reason for embracing one and shunning the other. Do you believe it, it was the wealth?
Well, this is happening in a country which is renowned for practicing Buddhism and the GNH. If any misfortune happens to the wealthy and influential ones, there are hundreds of thousands who are concerned and readily render their support while the problems of the poor and the marginalized ones go unattended.
What I genuinely feel is that, the wealthier and the influential ones have got enough people to help them. Therefore, it will be apt to help the have nots rather than supporting the already stable ones. But then, can we correct this?