A role model

Civic sense. Do we have it?

Sangay Dorji is one person who does have good sense of civic responsibility. I chanced upon him fixing potholes on the road to Dechhenchholing. He collected soft rock, gravel and mud from a nearby landslide to fill the larger potholes. And within minutes, even before he was finished, vehicles started plying on the repaired side of the road.

Sangay Dorji, who lives in Dechhenchholing, drives a taxi on the weekends. He decided that he didn’t need to keep driving on a certain rough patch when he spotted a small landslide above the road. He’s already filled the potholes with mud and gravel several times. Similarly he keeps fixing the uneven – and dangerous – offset at one end of the Dechhenchholing bridge.

Here’s Sangay Dorji – a role model – in action.


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  1. waikhorey says

    Forget civic sense! We don’t have any sense left in this country. The only sense every one seems to have is an uncanny sense of self-preservation.

  2. Good to see someone who believes not only in his rights in civil society but also believes in imparting his duties in a selfless manner. Our country needs more of such Sangay Dorji.

  3. Yes if only we had more of the likes of him. Civic Sense is something that we Bhutanese inherently lack.

  4. I do not agree that we inherently lack civic sense. But I believe that it is one thing we do not encourage. Think of your school days – anything nice you try to do would be shot down as trying to please the teacher. Observe at work – anything nice you try to do would be scoffed off as an attempt to please the boss. You do it at any social setting, and you will surely be given the title of Azha Passang. I’m wondering may be we have an inherently suspicious sense.

  5. Surely if the person driving Prados and Landcruisers also do collectively like Sangay Dorji, there would garner more civic sense.
    Hon’ble opposition leader did you also got down from your car and did the same or just took the photograph.

  6. Motor Mouth says

    we bhutanese suffer from something i call a “sincerity” complex. as mentioned by someone above, if i talk with my teachers, i am buttering them. if i do something extra at the office, i am a chamcha. if i do things for my family, i am a hen-pecked husband. we do not like sincere people doing sincere things.

    we are very jealous and cynical. we shoot down the toppers in the class by labelling them as sincere or over sincere in some cases. if a friend decides to do something different we are sure to drag him down instead of encouraging them.

    the more i think about it, i feel that we have a problem with standing out. we would rather enjoy in the back seats instead of taking the initiative. we don’t like achievers much do we?

    as noted film maker, Dorji Wanghuk, once said to the media quite a few years back, “we enjoy a redundant form of nirvana”. i thought that description hit the nail perfectly!

  7. I think the comments given above is true. Bhutanese are really cynical. How can we go far in life if our attitude is like that. I think it is only our Kings who are selfless. It is high time we look at some developed countries especially Japan. Look at how they acted during the tsunami. They are also selfless. Not only during those hard times, the Japanese are always forward looking and I do not think they have such thing as Azha Pasa or Chamcha.

  8. tshering says

    Dear OL,
    My appreciations to the effort of sangay dorji and for observing this in appreciation. I wish more of our politician started relating to things in a very ordinary and common sense way like you are willing to do. I also agree with the comments above that we bhutanese are born cynics and critiques. The only sad part is that most of us are just arm chair theorists who only know the solution in the head but are not willing to get our hands dirty…i wish this would change slowly and have more civil society participation in changing the way we do many things here in Bhutan. For instance, garbage is one irritating problem for all. Why cant we solve this through community effort rather than always wait for the government to do something. Doesn’t the cliched definition of democracy ring a bell when we say government by the people, of the people and for the people….

  9. many wise thoughts and comments…appreciated!

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