Second in this series, lets talk of the Kuensel news article of 18th April, 2015, headlined “To ‘meat’ a huge demand”. And, this article I want to start by offering my congratulations to the PDP government to have had the guts to do this!
The article concerns the Royal Government of Bhutan’s plans to establishment a meat processing facility along with setting up of a number of animal farms around the country. This has been long overdue!
The Kuensel reports that the government has allocated Nu.675 million to establish the facilities spread over a number of locations - Serbithang and Yusipang in Thimphu, Relangthang in Sarpang and Samrang in Samdrupjongkhar.
For a country that has the highest record of per capita meat consumption in the whole of Asia, why wasn't this thought of earlier? Kuensel reports that last year, Bhutan imported 10,336 MT of meat products worth Nu.1.37 billion from India and Thailand! For a population size of 700,000 people, that is a bellyful of meat! And we wonder why we are suffering Rupee shortage?
This makes fantastic economic sense! I hope the PDP government will stay the course and not be waylaid by some section of society with pseudo cause based on some redundant belief that has caused this country to remain, what one Japanese scholar calls - in a state of social fermentation! This decision of the government indicates that they are willing to be courageous about what they know is good for the country. Let us move away from the misconception that we are any different from others - trust me, we are as unique as anyone else!
Next, I hope the government will do something to solve the stray dogs problem - once and for all. Enough of this pussy footing around the issue and getting nowhere while spending millions, year after year. By now we ought to realize that our attempts so far have been ineffective in eradicating this dangerous problem. One day something serious will happen and, true to character, we will be drawn to offering a thousand butter lamps, while the problem will go on to persist, unabated. Let us for once ensure that the tourists visiting Bhutan remove that one critical item in their packing list - earplugs - to deafen the dog barks that go on all night long.
Talking of which, it seems like the dog problem has been going on since the past 50 years! Look at what a Chilip visitor of yore, wrote:
“ …….. Then there were all those dogs running around, and very often there was a big dog fight. All the people bring their food with them and since there is never any sort of an intermission during the day they just eat when they want to. Now, when there are a lot of loose dogs running around, some funny things happen at times. A dog will run up to some one’s dinner and grab a mouthful of food and away the dog scrams with some rocks being thrown at him, and a lot of yelling, etc., etc. This was certainly some get together. Just think, for five solid days from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM there is one event following another with no intermission at all. Not one moment is lost, and never any repeats. ……… "
This is a graphic rendition of a scene from Paro Tsechu of 1965. The account was originally published in the DXers Magazine published by Gus Browning Enterprises of Cordova, SC. The deviously famous American ham radio operator named Gus Browning was a hero of sorts among the world ham radio community. His radio calls from a number of exotic destinations enthralled the ham radio enthusiasts. According to his own admissions, and those of his wife Peggy who supposedly accompanied him to Bhutan in 1965, he is supposed to have operated from Bhutan twice - once in 1963 and once in 1965. However, going through his QSL’s, there are some serious inconsistencies. Some of his supposed operations from Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet are rather unbelievable and, at times, simply impossible. I am currently in the process of gathering information surrounding his logged but unverified operations from Bhutan. Unfortunately all his contemporaries are mostly “Silent Key” - meaning dead! He himself went SK in 1990 - aged 82 years. But for sure I will have something for you - before I myself go Silent Key :)-