National Kidu Fund

As a small Himalayan Kingdom which swings in a cradle of the philosophy of Gross National Happiness, which measures the happiness as health and a wealth of the nation, the achievement of this noble vision of the fourth king of Bhutan doesn’t lie just in the hands of the government but must be a collective effort of the all the citizens of Bhutan.
The right time is now where each of us has to put this effort for the betterment of the country and keep our people happy forever.
So much have been said and done, there is no stone left unturned by our government and all the concerns authorities, but still the present and future demands even much more than this, the time knows no partiality and Bhutan is never exempted from natural disaster, calamities and other epidemics, be it in our single family, a fraction of our society or a nation as a whole.

Certainly, we will be experiencing, more and more violent drama of the nature adding pains and sorrows to many of our lives and the forecast seems aiming right for even the future generation. Therefore I believe this is the time for all of us to strive for cure even if we cannot protect and prevent it. It is not unknown to Bhutanese, that Bhutan is experiencing and becoming victims of many natural disasters, calamities and epidemics. The global warming is constantly threatening us through its various behaviours. We are experiencing the affects of floods, fires and so on and one of its worst kinds in 2010 that took away many lives and property.

If we recall few of them, Bhutan mourned for the victims of earth quake in east in 2010, which looted our people their hard earned property and even took them away from us. Followed by the devastating fire that turned our Womrong town into the desert of asses. Still thirst unquenched, it hit our Chamkhar town in 2010.
Again latter we received 8 Bhutanese from Nepal emptied of soul and just after that, bus took a different destination and swallowed the life of many of our people.

New borne disease may be on the way, while others like H1N1 didn’t spare us. Govt. has fought it with millions of ngultrum to keep the nation free of it, in line with our philosophy of GNH to shine the face of the people with the smile forever. And despite of this, we have tried every possible to hike our salary and give
Bhutanese a high living standard, Yes, that too we achieved. But now let us turn our thought and discuss, not only what am I suppose to get but let us take long breath and think what can I do now for the nation and in what ways? This thought triggered me to think about this idea and I named it as “National Kidu Fund”.

National kidu fund is the compassionate collective financial contribution of the Bhutanese civil and corporate employees for the long term assistance in during natural disaster, epidemic breakout, fires and other welfare activities in the kingdom of Bhutan.

It comprises a monthly contribution of a small sum (a willing percentage not less than Nu. 50), which is deducted from the monthly salary of the willing government and corporate Bhutanese employees and is directly deposited in the Bank of Bhutan.

This fund is the property of the Government of Bhutan supervised and audited by the government providing the public and all the interested supporters, the detail of the collections and its mobilization, annually or biannually for transparency.

This fund stand as an autonomous and is strictly utilized in and during the problems such as natural calamities (i.e. earth quake, flood, fire and other epidemics etc) that Bhutan may face in the future.

Objectives of National Kidu Fund

To provide the immediate relief funds to the nation during the times of disaster such as flood, earthquake, fires and other calamities.

What are the benefits of National Kidu Funds?

1. Morale of the citizen‐ it provides every Bhutanese national an opportunity to support for the country in times of need. This gives the citizen a sense loyalty and the sense of One Nation One People, and unites to share the happiness and sadness together.

2. Gross National Happiness‐ It supports our philosophy of Gross national Happiness, which in fact has raised from the Buddhist philosophy i.e. a concept of Love and Compassion. This throws light on how each of us live in harmony supporting and helping each other in the times of need.

3. Immediate mobilization of relief funds‐ National kidu Fund is a collection of contribution from certain percentage from the salary of the civil, corporate and business communities/people of Bhutan. It is directly deposited in the bank of Bhutan and mobilized immediately during the emergency caused by natural disaster, calamities and epidemics in the country.

4. Higher collection with rate of return on capital‐ This fund acts as a recurring deposits in Bank of Bhutan and is the property of Royal Government of Bhutan, since it is a pre‐planned and is well informed to the citizen, it may get large number of supporter, thus raising higher funds than that collected during the time of emergency.

5. Self sufficiency‐ It lessens provision for unplanned national budget and need of foreign help and support. If every civil/ corporate and business individual unites and support this idea and make contribution, Bhutan can make enough to meet the demands of such situation and be self sufficient to abate the pains caused by the disaster and calamities.

6. Less cost of capital‐ The cost involved on collection of the relief funds during the emergency periods may involve extra costs on collection period and fund mobilization to the destination.

7. Transparent and avoid misconceptions among supporters‐ The National Kidu Fund is property of Government of Bhutan for emergency relief during the natural disaster in the country and is credited to the Bank of Bhutan, the finance can be properly managed and audited and brought to the public notice about the collection and mobilization annually or biannually in media etc, thus provides better transparency and avoids misconceptions among the valued supporters.

8. Cut/ reduce the unplanned national budgets‐ This also helps the government to reduce the allocation in unplanned national budget and instead it can be invested in other developmental activities of the country.

How this can be worked out?

On time support was doing well, so why National Kidu Fund?
This idea is an endeavor to assist the government in such sad times of the country for immediate relief. Although Bhutanese has always been kind and supportive in such darkened hour and supported morally and financially whole heartedly, but it has sometimes delayed the operation and the cost of capital has been high, and sometimes, the amount collected is much less to meet the demand of the situation so we have heavily depended on foreign aids and support. The immediate collection of the relief fund during the peak hours may even cause fund mishandling and arise doubt of not being transparent and may be placed on some corrupt hands. It would act as a security, bearing interests and continuously growing which inturn lighten the government on immediate allocation of the funds and as well minimizes the unplanned budgets and invest the rest in other developmental activities

What amount to be deducted from the salary?

The National Kidu Fund is based on the willingness of the citizen and it is not compulsory. It is the wish of the citizen, what amount he/she wishes to contribute as National Kidu Fund (probably above Nu. 50). It may be changed/ revised or altered latter through proper procedure as recommended by the Bank of Bhutan.

Who shall monitor the cash in the Bank?

Both the external and internal audits are responsible for monitoring the funds in Bank of Bhutan, with regular annual or biannual reports on collections and interest.

Is National Kidu Fund tax deductible?

This may be discussed and finalized as per the norms of government of Bhutan.

Can there be no other collection for emergency?

The National Kidu Funds is a security fund for our nation during the time of disaster and it is the citizen’s support to help one another in times of need. It does not provide restriction on compassionate support even latter times when the additional need arises.

Some Highlights to think for supporting National Kidu Fund.
Can we forget this or can we stay calm?

27 May, 2009 - Bhutan experienced record-breaking rainfall in the last three days as numerous
streams and rivers in the country surged to dangerous flood levels, killing two students, a soldier,
and a road construction employee from India, as well as cutting off several places as roads and
bridges were damaged. The casualties were two students from Thimphu washed away, a soldier in Dewathang hit by a falling tree, and an Indian labourer in Takti while clearing a landslide area. The average rainfall in the last 24 hours from May 25, 9:00 a.m. to May 26, 9:00 a.m. - was recorded at around 76 mm, which, Thimphu meteorology department says, is the highest in the last five years.
Source: BBC

At least 10 people have been killed after an earthquake hit Bhutan and neighbouring Himalayan regions.
The 6.1 magnitude quake damaged monasteries and caused homes to collapse in the mountain kingdom. The tremors also caused panic in the city of Guwahati, the capital of India's north-eastern state of Assam. The epicentre was just inside Bhutan's border with India, 180km (115 miles) east of the capital Thimphu, the US Geological Survey said. "We're trying to piece together information to assess the damage," said Ugyen Tenzing, Bhutan's director of disaster management. He said rescuers were searching the rubble for survivors. At least seven people died after buildings collapsed in the eastern districts of Mongar and Trashigang, close to the epicentre of the quake.

Three Indians died in Samdrup Jongkhar district, close to the Indian border, after the road they were working on collapsed. More than 200 Buddhist monks and 100 local officials were forced to flee an ancient monastery -that also serves as a government office - in Trashigang, the Associated Press news agency reports. "Houses, and monasteries and roads have been damaged. Mobile services are clogged," Trashigang Governor Lungthen Dorji said.
Source: BhutanToday.

A fire that broke out in Wamrong town at around 12 noon completely destroyed about 12 houses
and burned down properties worth millions of Ngultrums yesterday.

On October 26, 2010, a devastating fire destroyed sixty-six shops in Chamkhar town of Bumthang. About 266 people were left homeless, and in the care of the disaster management teams. Temporary shelters which provided food and other emergency care were set up by the government to protect the victims as plans of rebuilding their homes were developed and executed. The fire which was believed to have started from a small shop took the district officials and locals about three hours to put out.

His Majesty the Fifth King of Bhutan commanded that temporary structures be built on the existing government land, which will be allocated to all house and business owners who were affected by the fire. The temporary structures have been granted in order to enable the victims to resume economic activities that sustained their livelihood.

Please let us discuss if it can be done or please contribute your ideas to save Bhutan on such hours of the day.