So much of warmth, so much of hospitality and so much of good will. This is something I have noticed in all my travels within our beautiful country. I am sure many of us (urban dwellers) would have experienced these 5-star treatments when we were on tour in rural Bhutan. The question is, do we in any way reciprocate this hospitality when these people come to urban areas?
The answer, shamelessly, is a resounding no!
But, of course, to be practical we may not be able to invite them to our homes unless they are familiar to us. We may not be able to offer drinks to each and every villager coming to Thimphu.
But still, there are things we could do. For example, we could help them by doing our job well. I mean many of them come to Thimphu to make their citizen’s identity card, passports, driving licences and various permits, to see government officials or to pay their loans or seek new one. We could help them by speeding public services for them.
We could help them by drafting application letters, filling up forms or giving them directions. We can drop them to the right office and refer them to the concerned official. We could seek information on their behalf and provide them guidance and help.
We could help them by making it easier for them to avail some basic services. For example, the banks could employ few unemployed youths whose sole job would be to fill up withdrawal and deposit forms. I have done this many times as I waited for my turn with the token number. Hospitals could do the same. People employed to help them see the doctors and get medicines from the pharmacy. Remember they can’t read or write. Our public offices are so customer unfriendly that even I get lost when I land in a new office. Unless you spot someone you know, there won’t be anyone giving you directions and neither would there be any information guide.
There are so many things we could do to reciprocate the warmth and hospitality we enjoy in rural areas. So the next time you see a villager who looks lost in a bank or in the hospital or in your office, ask him if he or she needs help. You will not only bring some relief, you will also feel happy to have done something worthwhile that day. If you can't do this, at least don't run over them with your car, or shout at them, as they stray aimlessly in the streets of Thimphu.