||Bhutan Tourism Jaigaon
a Bhutanese family copes with life in Jaigaon
Yeshey Wangdi, a taxi driver, goes through this almost every morning and
so do his wife and daughter. They are among scores of Bhutanese who
live in Jaigaon.
is only one of many problems they face. Devoid of even basic facilities
like running water and regular electricity, living in Jaigaon is a daily
struggle for Yeshey and his family. Like most other Bhutanese in Jaigaon,
Yeshey lives in a one-room apartment.
The room serves as the kitchen,
bedroom, living room,altar room and a guest room. "All rolled in one,"
a long and tiring day Yeshey tries to relax at home but to no avail. The
furrows on his and his daughter's brow deepen with every whistle of the
pressure cooker. He is trying to watch a film on his small black and white
T.V. while she is struggling with her homework. And all the while the mother
goes on with her daily chores. "It may seem a small problem but over time
it makes us miserable and long for a nice place in Bhutan," he says.
why doesn't he stay in Bhutan? He wants to but he cannot afford a
flat in Phuentsholing on his modest income. Initially he tried to find
a place in Phuentsholing but after a long futile search, he gave up the
idea. A small room inPhuentsholing costs as much as Nu 1,200 a month.
pays Nu 750 for the apartment from his monthly income ofNu 3,000. The rest
is spent on food and clothing, and for his daughter's education.
"If we live in Bhutan and pay Nu 1,200 a month then what will we eat"says
Yeshey's wife. Jaigaon may be cheaper to live than Phuentsholing
but life there isnot easy. Yeshey's wife and their daughter queue for hours
everyday to get a bucket of water. It is worse during summer when they
haveto spend days without water and electricity. "Forget about taking
bath, sometimes we hardly have any water to brush our teeth," she says.
chief concern for Yeshey's family is safety. "These areas are very violent
and we live in constant fear," the wife says while the husband nods in
agreement. It is even difficult to find a place to dry beef out in the
open because eating beef is a taboo in the neighbourbood. And clothes that
aredried outside are strictly guarded or else they swiftly vanish.
"We never leave our house empty and if we do there is every possibility
of losing whatever little we have," she says.
Wangdi and his family would like to move back toPhuentsholing one day.
To fulfill this wish, Yeshey sweats to earn afew more ngultrums by working
harder. "Bhutan is the only place where one can have a nice bath,
a well lighted house, a clean toilet and a peaceful night's sleep," he
article was contributed by KUENSEL, Bhutan's National Newspaper
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