Memoirs of a Desuup

Desuup Tenzin Kelzang served in the southern border, was part of the Desuups engaged in the first Water Project at Guma and is now part of the group undergoing the Chartered Accounts Foundation course

Each of the 27,888 De-suups of the country will have a different story to tell, beginning from why they joined the institution to experiences they have had. 23-year-old Tenzin Kelzang, from Shengana, Punakha also has a story and together with it, a goal.  
In 2019, he completed class XII from Ugyen Academy, Punakha. “I took commerce as my parents thought that I could do business,” Kelzang, whose parents were working in the tourism industry before the pandemic hit says.
Though Kelzang secured 69.5 percent in the class XII examinations, he did not manage to get admission in any tertiary institute. “Moreover, it was difficult for my parents to support me, as they were not earning anything,” he says.
As he moved around looking for jobs, which he says was “impossible” due to the pandemic, he saw what he says was “a spring in the midst of a desert.” “I was just scrolling my phone and I saw the notifications for the 39th batch of De-suups. I decided that I would join,” he says. 
However, Kelzang was not sure if he would be selected. “There were thousands applying with limited seats. But I also applied and after a week, I had the best moment of my life, when I received a mail that I was selected.” 
Kelzang says that the above happened in 2020. “It is 2022 now and I do not know how time has passed. Maybe it is because I was always busy and occupied,” he says. 
After completing the 21-day course at MTC, Tencholing, Kelzang first duty as Desuup was duty at the borders in Samtse. “We were the second batch of Desuups engaged in the border duty. It was for two months – June till September 2020 and it was tough,” he says. According to Kelzang, the fluctuations in weather conditions created several problems. “One moment it would be very hot and the next second it would rain very heavily.” 
When asked what kept him and his friends going, Kelzang says it is His Majesty the King, who not only inspired but in very plain words told them about their responsibilities. “While on border duty, we saw His Majesty drenched by the rain but still coming all the way to meet and talk with us. I cannot forget those moments and when our King can do so much, what are we,” he says. “It may not sound realistic. But whenever we felt tired or sick, the thought of His Majesty used to lift us up,” Kelzang says. Additionally, Kelzang says that the people living along the borders were very welcoming. “They used to give us water, juice and sometimes even invite us for meals, which were inspiring too.”   
After two months in the borders, Kelzang returned to Thimphu and was then engaged in duties concerning “Physical Distancing.”  He worked at the hospital, vegetable markets and other areas, and the main responsibility was to see that people followed Covid protocols. This was nothing compared to guarding the frontiers. 
But he did not have to wait for long. On November 11, 2020, there was a call for the first Pilot Water Project at Guma in Punakha. Kelzang wasted no time and applied, after which he had to work at the project for 11 months. “It was pure physical work and the first few days were difficult. But after that, it becomes like a normal schedule and the work becomes easier. Everything is in the mind,” Kelzang says.
As he was working at the project, he heard about the Chartered Account (CA) Foundation course. “I was fortunate twice. I was selected for the Desuung program and the water project. I wondered if I would be fortunate again and I was,” he says.
Kelzang says that getting through the four-year CA course would be difficult but not impossible. “Our teachers say that we are the most fortunate of all and I agree with them. Moreover, the blessings of His Majesty and the hard work that we will do will definitely see us through,” he says. 
When asked what his unforgettable moments are, Kelzang says, it is His Majesty’s audiences. “I am very fortunate. I got opportunities to listen to His Majesty at the borders, four times during the water project and also here. I wake up thinking about what His Majesty has commanded and think of it before going to bed. My only aspiration is to live up to His Majesty’s expectations,” he says. 
In doing so, Kelzang may not have to be on guard at the borders or toil. However, he and his other friends will need to undergo what is considered one of the toughest courses and come out successfully. But Kelzang has an answer. “As a Desuup who served in different capacities, I have realized that hard work always pays off. I do not think the CA course is something different.”