Desuups awarded the “Druk Thuksey” Representational Pin on the 10th Raising Day
‘Druk Thuksey / Druk Thugsey, means "Son/Heart of the Thunder Dragon". It is an award to recognise people for their exceptional contributions in a variety of ways to the socio-economic, religious and political development and growth of Bhutan.
Institution of Desuung (Guardian of Peace) Programme
10 years ago, His Majesty the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck commanded for the establishment of the De-suung Integrated Training Programme. It is a personal development program with the main objective to encourage all citizens to become active contributors in nation-building. Through these training programs, all De-suups (volunteers) are expected to appreciate the sense of community, harmony, and cooperation as active members of society. Thus, on 14 February 2011 at Military Tencholing Center (MTC), Wangdue Phodrang, De-suung Integrated Training was launched.
The underlying premise of the training program was built upon the spirit of volunteerism and the positive influence of ethics and values of community service, integrity, and civic responsibility. It is also expected that any citizen who have undergone the training program to actively volunteer during disaster operations, participate in charitable activities, and be of service to others throughout their lives.
Today, after a decade of instituting the Desuung Program, 43 batches of volunteers have been trained with a total of 18341 desuups on the ground. 11856 of which are male Desuups and 6485 female Desuups with many more aspiring to join the Desuung Family.
The Desuung program is considered one of the greatest initiatives in Bhutan that bound the citizens in solidarity. Bhutanese from all walks of lives regardless of status come together as one under the Desuung platform. Once we don the orange uniform, we are all Bhutanese uniting without any class or status. There are volunteers from the royal family, politicians, minister, businessman, civil servants, executives and youths who are ever ready to serve the nation.
Desuups in Action
Throughout the decade, Desuups have combated raging fire, volunteered for construction and renovation, cleared roadblocks, and assisted in crowd control during festivals. DeSuung was also part of the first-ever Bhutanese Medical Response team during the Nepal earthquake on 25th April 2015. Desuups have constantly been in the forefront in many major events in the country. Since its inception on ten years ago, Desuups have won praises and admiration for their reassuring and helpful presence during national disasters and national events.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Bhutanese have signed up to join the Desuung Program. The Desuups have been playing an active role during such critical times. Many have provided their selfless service and work in the frontline to support the armed forces and other agencies. Some of the scopes include distributing of sanitisers and also coordinating and distributing food to the people during lockdown. Everyday, there are desuups deployed to patrol the borders to ensure the safety of the nation.
The Highest Honor
On the 113th National Day on December 17, 2020, the DeSuung institution was awarded the Druk Thuksey Medal (Royal Order of Bhutan) by the King of Bhutan for its extraordinary contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Druk Thuksey / Druk Thugsey, means "Son/Heart of the Thunder Dragon". It is an award to recognise people for their exceptional contributions in a variety of ways to the socio-economic, religious and political development and growth of Bhutan. The Royal Order of Bhutan was established by Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1966 and redesigned in 2008.
On the 10th Raising Day, Desuups across the nation were awarded the Druk Thuksey Representational Pin.
The Desuung Executive Council Chairman Goonglon Gongma (Lt. Gen.) Batoo Tshering received the King’s Pin (Gold) which is the Desuung Highest Award. Similarly, Desuung Director General (DG) Tashi Tobgye was awarded the Honorary Desuup Uniform and also the King’s Pin (Gold), by His Majesty the King. The pin was awarded to recognise the support of the three armed forces to Desuung since its inception in 2011.
Desuups for Life
Over the Losar holidays, His Majesty The King also visited the Guma Water Project site in Punakha and Semjong in Tsirang, where Desuups are working to build infrastructure to bring water to the people. Five Water Projects sites including three more in Saling under Monggar, Dangdung, in Trongsa, and Geling in Chhukha are part of the Desuung National Service program to help build infrastructure for water across the country. Three more projects are expected to commence by March 2021.
The spirit of volunteerism and nation-building in this Himalayan Kingdom is truly commendable. Being a DeSuup is one of the highest forms of voluntary service in Bhutan and it is undoubtedly that these selfless Guardians of Peace in orange will continue to serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum (King, People, Country) with unwavering dedication and loyalty.