Thursday, July 29, 2021
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
It’s not new of HM expressing his grave concern over quality of education in his Royal Addresses. In fact, during every convocation ceremony of graduates HM has always stressed on the important role that education play in steering the nation towards economic development and social harmony.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
When my friends ask me why I decided to be a school teacher? I would often say that because we get July and January off I decided to do this job....
But deep down There is only one reason to come back to school as a teacher.....and thats to let you all create good memories while you are in the school! Why? I must frankly speak, I didn't have very cherisable school days..and I don't wish the same to unfold upon you all...you know what...the best most of the teachers did back then was to beat you up if you don't know the answers from the book, scolding, pulling ears, lashing with electric wires were some of their weapons of mass destruction...Let me also put this on record that there were few good ones too. Loving, caring and inspiring individuals who reminded me that it was possible to be kind and loving among unkind and unloving....and gave me this strong hope and a reason to aspire to be an individual who motivates, treats you in a way you rightfully deserve and not just instruct and indoctrinate.
When school resumed for 2020, you and me were unknown to each other....which made it even more interesting...thus in my history classes we had decided to know ourselves first....we also wanted to create a small class library..so we started collecting books....We had just started to write and post articles on our class blogspot.
We were also discussing about a year long personal project where each one of you would be working throughout the year, sharpening your talent, or learning a new skill or doing some community services... these were things you and me would have been engrossed in apart from the knowledge we would have pretended to discover from our textbooks...
It was all going well and good and then this covid 19 happened and our collective dreams and projects all collapsed.
All this Pendamic wanted was to separate you from me, close the door and windows of our only room where we opened our minds and hearts, where we did study of past events but were eqaully creating 'history for ourselves..'...we were learning and growing together, there was pure joy to treasure one's old friends and also in finding a new one.
All this Pendamic wanted was to not let me be that 'unreal' teacher for you, a teacher who gives you enough space and time to grow and blossom, I wanted you to laugh with me and also laugh at my jokes, feel free to share your thoughts, come to me for some free suggestions or advices, I wanted to share with you what I want to achieve in life and what I failed to achieve......I wanted you to listen to all my flaws, failures and my hardships. In those flaws, failures and hardships, I wanted you to find hope, perseverance and passion to do any tasks entrusted to you to best of your ability, to stand for a cause in life and to lead to create moments and memories.
I also wanted to share with you what little I have achieved thus far in my own life. I would not have been able to provide you anything worthy to take home but I wanted you to take the lessons out of my little success stories so that you learn and understand that everything takes time and patience to make it happen and to make it possible in life.
All this Pendamic wanted to do was to take away these moments from us.
All this Pendamic wanted was to Rob Me of the very reason and my purpose to become a classroom teacher.
All this Pendamic wanted was to teach us a lesson....in that unkind and unloving way...shattering all my purposes, suspending all my dear moments with you all and distancing us for no reasons of our own....
All this Pendamic wanted was to remind us that no matter how long I keep my doors open, it's you who need to walk in. No matter how much and how best I provide you as your Guru, but it's your personal responsibility to learn and grow, to perfect your craft and mend your imperfections...with this onset of e-learning we all must have realised....that A Guru can at best be there for you but cannot be always be with you...
Happy children's Day my dear young friends....
With much love and virtual bear hugs,
Your supposedly Class Teacher but for this year I shall remain as your virtual class teacher. See you soon.....Enjoy the day...
Thursday, September 10, 2020
According to World Health Organization 8 lakh people die globally due to suicide every year. Which means 1 person every 40 seconds. (Which would also mean when you complete reading this article at least 9 human being would have already committed suicide.) There are more deaths from suicide than from war and homicide together. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds. Pesticides, hanging and firearms are the most common methods used globally. 75% of suicides occur in low- and middle income countries and almost half of those deaths are between 15-29 years old.
These statistics is worrisome and suicide is indeed a growing concern around the world. The data recorded at home is also not so pleasing. A record maintained by National Suicide Prevention Program between 2016-2018 states that 272 Bhutanese took their lives in those three years. That amounts to 1 suicide a week. 1 citizen in week taking away their life should be a wake-up call for a nation just over 7.8 lakh people! There are many reasons to consider for suicide and suicide attempts. Our transitioning society (rapid development, rural urban migration, and new set-up in work places) brings in more hardship and difficulty. To adjust to the new environment of workplace, and the lesser time spent with loved ones because one has to earn a livelihood. The accessibility to drugs, and sudden changes in individuals behavior due to bully, harassments, financial difficulties and loss of ones loved ones are many causes for suicide and suicide attempts.
Through studies conducted by The International Association for Suicide Prevention in 2019 found that For each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected. This amounts to 108 million people per year who are profoundly impacted by suicide behavior. For every suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide (IASP, 2019). If this data is translated into our own scenario- Because of 1 suicide every week (according to 2016-2018 study) 25 of our people will also make an attempt or will have serious thoughts about suicides every week. And along with this, as the report suggests, approximately 135 people would also suffer from intense grief or are otherwise affected (Look at the out-cry of fans of Sushant Singh Rajput- Being a rising movie star his sudden death and suicide being a prime cause has spilled over grief and frustration across the globe) immensely. Suicide is without a doubt a very sensitive issue. Thus, No wonder why people do not want to discuss or debate openly about suicide. It’s very contagious in nature-affecting the well-being of a person who hears about the incident. But we must stand up and fight this culprit to prevent further loss of life.
Life is precious and no Country and Leaders than our King and the Royal Government place so much importance in protecting and saving each and every citizens life. The Ministry has adopted No health without mental health approach to make our health and social services more conducive to assist people (with depression and suicidal thoughts) providing counselling and psychiatric services. The RUB colleges also has incorporated counselling as a separate course in its various colleges. There is multiple coalition and collaborative programs initiated by public and non-government bodies to prevent suicides in our country (Check this report here and if the promises have not been materialized we need to notify the concern authority)
The The Mind over Matter Bhutan’ and ‘Bhutan Suicide Awareness, Prevent and Watch are Facebook forums (but sadly, both the forums seem not so active) where individuals can share their concerns to understand their own grief so suicidal thoughts never invade ones conscious. If you are not a fan of Facebook, you can tune-in to Radio Valley 99.9 fm for the Mind over Matter Bhutan sessions hosted by our very own Namgey Zam (I think its still in air?) If one fear going online or go on record, one can also pay a visit to numerous care-providing institutions where they will get necessary help.
The responsibility should not be only imposed on public agencies and NGOs. It should be the sacred duty of every individual. This responsibility is both sacred and noble. Why? If we manage to prevent one suicide we would be preventing 135 fellow Bhutanese from experiencing intense grief and we could be also preventing another 25 of our own people from committing suicide or at least help them refrain from any suicidal thoughts. It takes just ‘one suicide prevention' to break the chain of grief and stress that affects many fellow friends and family members. It just takes you and me to stop stigmatizing suicide and openly discuss regarding it so people who are in need of help and assistance in their life can easily approach for necessary intervention. It has to be you and me to avoid any further loss of life due to suicide.
Its in you and me to check on the feelings of our friends and family members. If they express hopelessness about their future, tell them you are ever-ready to help in whatever way possible.
Its in you and me to watch out the actions of our loved ones. If they display overwhelming pain and distress, tell them its transitory- things will be ok and assure them that you are there for him/er always.
Its in you and me to observe the behavioral change in our friends and family. If they are withdrawing from friends, changes in social activities, show more anger or hostility and display sleep disturbances ask them the reasons and try helping them out.
Its in you and me to check on the signs of distress displayed through talking, writing (and sharing on social media), or making plans for suicide. Tell them things will be perfectly ok and assure your support and direct them to get help from concern professionals.
One of the initiatives of IASP to observe this years World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th 2020) with the theme: Working together to prevent suicide, is urging world citizens to ‘Light A Candle tonight on your window at 8:00PM to show your support to suicide preventions’.
If not anything, tonight lets cast some light to brighten the darkness unknowingly intruding in the lives of our near and dear ones. Let’s assure them, through the brightness and the warmth of the candle light, that we are all here to help and also to convey this message that ‘killing yourself wont end the problem, it only increases the worry, sadness and problems of people who you leave behind!’
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Everything came to a halt when our country was put under lock-down on 11th August. Though Government ensured delivery of all services needed but there were still things to worry about. The access to essential goods became difficult by the day.
Yet, surprisingly, nothing deterred many folks on Facebook to experiment new dishes or treat themselves with one’s favorite. A slice of irony on a plate full of National Crisis? May not be. If food and its implications are to be considered seriously- there are many underlining biological and psychological reasons for our indulgent on eating as well as sharing photos of our meals on social media during this lock-down.
Interestingly, after lockdown relaxation was announced last Monday (31stAugust), not many people on social media shared photos of meals they have cooked for themselves. What could be the reason? The apparent reason could be a sign of relieve on hearing about the relaxation of lock-down. It could be also due to mundane thoughts revolving around getting back to daily routine so costumed to most urbanites which might have diverted their attention and their other-wise food-frenzy mind prior Monday.
According to science, people hardly eat when they suffer from short-term stress because it shut down our appetite. The anxiety triggers our nervous system to send messages to the adrenal glands to pump out the hormone ‘epinephrine’ which helps activate our body’s fight or flight response, and fast-track our physiological state that temporarily puts eating on hold. This could be one scientific evidence why we also didn’t see many meal photos shared by fellow Bhutanese on social media in the first week of our lockdown.
The science also says that if stress continues, the adrenal glands release another hormone called ‘cortisol’ and cortisol increases appetite and may also ramp up motivation in general including the urge and the motivation to eat more. Thus, we prepared and did a lot of experiments with food and then we all engaged in so called ‘Emotional eating’ or ‘stress eating’ to make ourselves feel good, comfortable and above all relieve stress by eating more than usual. The lock-down continued so did the stress level, and you guess it right, the change in our appetite also became apparent. Eating more often and thus sharing photos of meals became quite rampant after the second week of the lock-down.
It’s not a new trend to post photos of meals on social media. In fact, in western world it has become an obsession. This fancy trend is often referred as ‘Food Porn’ or ‘Gastro Porn’ because of the avalanche of meal photos shared and how additive people have become of watching these meal photos. This addictive behavior leads to ‘visual Hunger’ meaning your urge to eat those meals (beautifully presented and seen frequently on screens of your gadgets) become so strong you bend over backwards to get it prepared and eat the meal irrespective of its implications on your health.
There is another shocking food–fact. Many food survey done abroad also indicate that when we strongly feel distress we increase the intake of food high in fat and sugar or both which is detrimental to our health in long run (Check your posts and feeds to cross-check on this).
So what really made us flung photos of our meals on social media (especially on Facebook) and what could be the best guess to justify this recent online rebellious behavior of ours?
Apparently, one reason is our ‘Herd mentality’ that makes us do what others are doing and make ourselves feel good and happy about being in a league of people with similar tastes and likings. We also share photos to announce to the world that we are so proud that we could prepare the food ourselves. Sharing photos online of what we have cooked also is an attempt to showcase our personal preferences and tastes, and cookery skills-Making your Photo of meals represent you, at least virtually, and uphold and guard your personality on social media.
Many may argue to protect their justification on recent online ‘food fiesta’ by saying that it was just a perfect time to connect with family members through home cooked food and sharing photos online was just a spontaneously act. But If aforementioned food statistics is to be taken seriously, we have to be mindful of eating whatever we see on our screens and also be equally sensible enough to not share so you don’t influence others.
All said and done, the recent ‘food fiesta’ on Facebook tells us one thing very loud and clear: We relied heavily on food to lessen the burden caused by all the difficulties string-in by Covid 19. Through Food experimentation and sharing the photos online we made ourselves feel good, happy and important and above all we managed our emotions and succeed to certain extend in de-stressing our 21 days of in-house quarantine during this historic National Lock-down.
(My personal reflective piece ( inspired by self- realization of the bitter truth)written suppossively for a newspaper a week ago...this is just an opinion..and I am equally guilty for the wrong doing 😜😜. Enjoy reading and if you like it/finds worthy of sharing please do so. Thank you)
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Apart from the sole purpose of disseminating information to locals in specific zones, the Facebook group created for the benefit of zones if used extensively will foster even greater community vitality.
The forum is helping local businesses attract more customers by connecting to the needs and preferences of the local residents. On the other hand, the customers are also benefitted in terms of reduction in travel cost incurred on shopping which were mostly done from far-away shopping malls prior to National lock-down. Similarly, with instant messages on your mobile phone informing you about the arrival of goods, it increases your probability of getting to buy fresh vegetables, dairy products and any other essential goods. Which, in traditional market set-up, is non-existent.
Overnight the offline store also started to function as a mini-online-retailer, informing and directing shoppers about their location, the goods they sale, and about their new arrivals. The business picked up as new consumers assembled in line to do their purchase.
Prior to lock-down, residents were botherless about the names of shopkeepers as well as the shops from where they use to purchase their monthly ration. If not face to face, the virtual interaction space created by the Facebook group is helping local residents know their neighbors too and the fellow residents who live few blocks apart. While they meet, though faces are hidden behind those masks but one can feel the warmth of brotherhood and see the smile greeting each-other through their eyes.
Looking at how quickly vital information is shared and genuine concern been shown to random fellow residents, and how beneficial its turning out to be for everyone at the moment, I foresee many more positive future implications of this virtual space based on this newly discovered sense of brotherhood, trust, and awareness among the local residents.
The local residents, through this platform, would be now able to instantly organize community services like cleaning, blood donation, planting trees, donating essentials to needy ones, take the ownership of the developmental activities and take good care of the public properties they have been enjoying in their own locality.
If this lively communication and connection continues after lockdown relaxation with this existing yet heighten sense of concern shown beyond one’s four walls and if this magic is true and is prevalent in all zones across the country, then we have succeeded to become stronger than ever, collected and poise in our thoughts and ever more united to fight our common enemy-Covid 19!
Thursday, August 27, 2020
In Photo:Yours truly as John Mantel (The lawer-turned monk character from Robin Sharma book series) During Character Comes Alive -2013 Liter...
It’s not new of HM expressing his grave concern over quality of education in his Royal Addresses. In fact, during every convocation ceremony...
In Photo:Yours truly as John Mantel (The lawer-turned monk character from Robin Sharma book series) During Character Comes Alive -2013 Liter...
Everything came to a halt when our country was put under lock-down on 11th August. Though Government ensured delivery of all services needed...