Motorcycling all the way to the Meritorious Award

Motorcycling all the way to the Meritorious Award

How a simple cup of tea brewed an enormous dream, culminating in the formation of Bhutan Dragons Motorcycle Club

Bhutan Dragons Motorcycle Club (BDMC) was bestowed with the Tarayana Meritorious Award by the President of Tarayana Foundation, Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck during the foundation’s annual fair on May 3. The award was conferred in recognition of the numerous undertakings the club initiated for the betterment of lives and livelihoods of the disadvantaged and the rural populace across the country.

BDMC started off over a cup of tea when three childhood friends who had been riding since they were teenagers promptly decided to form a club. They decided to form a club to rekindle their love and passion for riding. They then decided to take it one step further and established it as a charity club.

Established in the year 2008, BDMC has ridden all the way to the prestigious award in their 16 year journey, passionately riding the nooks and crannies of the country doing charity works, their spirits enthused by the club’s motto “Love to Ride-Ride to Love”.

The club was formally affiliated with the Tarayana Foundation on August 2, 2016 by Her Majesty The Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The club will now be focusing all its strengths and resources in helping Tarayana in various capacities. The President of the club, Thinley Wangchuk Dorji was also inducted into the Tarayana Board along with two other members-Tshering Tashi and Kelly Dorji into the executive committee. With the affiliation, the club is now fondly named ‘Tarayana Dragons’.

BDMC has collected funds to the tune of Nu 60 million for the Tarayana office vertical extension construction project. It also raised Nu 11.3 million towards the Tarayana ‘build a home’ initiative with support from their friends in Thailand.

“Our members have also facilitated the donation of medical equipments from a Foundation in Australia amounting to AUD 1.4 million to help with the Covid-19 pandemic efforts in Bhutan,” the club’s President said. “We have also helped secure the first batch of 2000 firefighting uniforms from the NSW Fire & Rescue Department in Australia valued at USD 400,000.”

The club also continues with its charity rides under the Tarayana banner, helping the needy from time to time all across the country. BDMC has conducted 18 charities since it became a part of Tarayana.

The club currently has 42 full members, 2 prospects and 12 honorary members, apart from the coordinators, supporters and friends all across the country. It has a charter with various rules and regulations and a strict code of conduct for all members. For instance, the club is totally against drug abuse. Drinking and riding is also not permitted. In addition, members that have been criminally charged for various offenses contravening the laws of the kingdom will be automatically suspended from the club.

BDMC is a 100% charity club and the entirety of its proceeds goes towards charity. All other expenses on the charity rides are borne directly by the members and not from the club proceeds. The club also has full and honorary international members from England, Australia, Japan, Germany, Thailand, Switzerland and the US. Funds are raised from membership fees, members and friends from abroad, contributions from corporate and business houses, and private individuals.

In their fifty charity rides since inception, the club has covered all the twenty dzongkhags in the country, with prime focus being mainly in the far-flung and remote corners of Bhutan.

Meanwhile, as long as the club remains strong and committed to its cause and members continue to grow and support the club wholeheartedly, the club’s President envisions BDMC having further grown in wisdom, size and stature with many more charities under its belt ten years hence.

By Tashi Namgyal, Thimphu