Mini-carnival underway to help senior citizens and the homeless

 A mini-carnival underway in Phuentsholing by the Royal Society for Senior Citizens (RSSC) has attracted hundreds of visitors including people from across the border. The fest aims to help underprivileged senior citizens across the country, recovering drug addicts and homeless people.

There are 32 stalls which have dart games in majority. There are also stalls selling traditional handicrafts and food courts outside the Integrated Vegetable Market in Phuentsholing.

The event, according to the event coordinator, Karma Tenzin (Yongba), will help people earn through providing entertainment services to visitors and through different games. Also, it has created temporary employment for jobless youths. “The event will not only help senior citizens but also unemployed youths, drug addicts and homeless people. The event is organized for a social cause,” Karma Tenzin said. Every stall owner has employed from six to 12 youths. RSSC has also provided a free stall to the Happiness Center Recovery Volunteer Group (HCRVG), a voluntary counseling centre in Phuentsholing. Around 10 members of the HCRVG are running the stall in the event.

Ugyen Dorji, a volunteer for the old and homeless said that the event will help his center to aid the needy, homeless and old people. “We are facing shortage of funds but such events will help us to assist these people,” he said.     

 The event has also attracted inflow of INR as most of the visitors are from India coming as tourists. “Till now, most of us spent hundreds in carnivals outside the country. But organizing within the country not only attracts foreign currency inflow, but also creates employment and income generating opportunities for the Bhutanese,” Nidup, the event’s Site In-charge said. 

Leki Dema, a 33 year old housewife has employed six male and two female employees to run a stall. She runs a dart game stall. She said that she is happy to help the senior citizens and employ eight staffs. “We can only give our share of profits to the senior citizens,” she said.

Sangay Gyeltshen, another stall operator has employed four staffs in his stall. He said that it is a wonderful opportunity to help the senior citizens. “Since people love to attend carnivals in other areas including India, such events in the country will generate income for the nationals,” he said.

The carnival started from October 20 and will end on November 3.        

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing