De-suung and Disaster Management
The way forward in Disaster Management
Bhutan has been so fortunate to have not suffered from any major disasters due to the blessings of the protecting deities of the country. The few disasters which were caused due to fire, floods and landslides and earthquakes have been attended to personally by His Majesty the King. His Majesty had been always personally involved in the welfare and re-habilitation of the affected communities and even down to individual level where ever there have been accidents and natural disasters like house fire, destruction of homes and farmlands by floods, loss of crops to pests or bad harvests due to failure of crops or vehicular accidents involving public transport.
Understanding the shortages of manpower and the dire need for it not only at the time of disasters but also during post disasters His Majesty’s vision of creating the De-suung Organization, a voluntary organization is, therefore, a blessing to the people of Bhutan. His Majesty, in his noble vision has felt the necessity to create a dynamic force, the De-suups who would not only come voluntarily to assist their neighbours, community, society and the country at large in times of emergencies or disasters but would also do other social and charitable works and be of service to others throughout their lives. In keeping so, the De-suung Head Office in collaboration with the Royal Bhutan Army proposes to train two batches of young and interested volunteers (120-125 volunteers in each batch) annually at the Military Training Centre, Wangduephodrang through a value based personal development programme with more focus in the field of disaster management. The training programme is aimed to encourage both youth and adults to be pro-active in the nation building process through a mixed use of guest lectures and interactive exercises with the latest information, techniques and ideas. Throughout the course the trainees will come to appreciate the sense of community, harmony and co-operation as a group and as a society because the training is built upon the spirit of volunteerism, and the positive influence of ethics, and values of community service, integrity and civic responsibility.
Given the overwhelming response and the feedback received from the first batch of trainees the De-suung Head Office proposes to train 250 De-suups annually and strengthen the De-suup force. With the spirit of volunteerism and the sense of responsibility that they acquire from the 5 week training programme it is only wished that these De-suups will live up to the expectations of His Majesty in serving their country at all times be it during disasters or in peace. Since they are registered as lifelong members of the De-suung Organisation and are always there to assist the Ministry of home and Cultural Affairs during disasters the list of all the De-suup Volunteers will be not only recorded in the De-suung Office but will also be handed over to the Department of Disaster Management for the purpose of easy coordination and mobilization in times of emergencies. The types of voluntary services to be rendered by these De-suups therefore, need to fit in the overall Disaster Management Framework.