Beneficiaries of Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu use Kidu period to look for jobs

Many economic sectors in the country have been hit by the pandemic, and workers are laid off as COVID-19 continues to crush the economy.

The Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu came as a huge relief to the affected people. It gave new hopes and a breathing space for the people.

Meanwhile, the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief kidu beneficiaries are planning to take up unskilled job after the 3- month Kidu period ends.

Ram Bahadur Tamang, 22, worked as a cook in one of the hotels in Thimphu, is currently searching for a job. He said the hotel is paying him 10 percent of his salary.

“10 percent of the salary is not enough for meeting the daily expenses, and if the situation prolongs it will be difficult to survive in the capital. However, Druk Gyalpo Relief Kidu has come as a huge relief to me. I am searching for a job and I am willing to do whatever work comes on my way,” he said.

He said that he visited a few of the construction sites for possible work, but unfortunately, they were not hiring as they have enough workers.

“I don’t have a high academic qualification so the only work I can do is at construction sites though I lack skills in it,” he said.

He wants to land a job before the Kidu period ends. There are many laid off workers also vying for the limited number of construction jobs. If he cannot find a job within two months then he is planning to leave for his village and help his mother.

“Before the outbreak of the disease, I used to send money to my mother every month. But now with the money I receive, I can only pay the house rent and do some grocery shopping. When the Kidu period ends and I don’t get any job, I will go back to my village and help my mother with the farming,” he added.

Dik Bir Rai, 39, a chef in one of the boutique hotels in Punakha, said that the hotel has sent the staff on leave without pay. He said that he is planning to take up unskilled work as he has to fend for his family.

“At the moment, the Kidu will help in paying the rent and purchasing grocery items. After that, I am planning to work at construction sites. It will be difficult for me at the initial stage as I don’t have any skills in such works, but I don’t have any other option too,” he said.

Yangchen, 26, worked in a hotel in Thimphu, and she has already planned to take up any unskilled job at a construction site until the situation gets back to normal.

“I have already made my mind and planned to get into construction work as soon as the Kidu period concludes. We know that situation, at the moment, is not stable and I won’t get any job in the private sector because the private sector has been hit hard too.  I see no other option than to take up this job. Atleast I will be able to contribute something to the nation with my hard work,” she said.

Tika Maya, 23, worked as housekeeper in Tenzinling hotel in Paro. She was sent on leave without pay, and is currently sustaining on the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu.

“After the Kidu period ends, if the government comes up with any initiative to engage the affected people, I am going to work as I see no return of tourism in the coming year. Tourism is going to take time to rebound,” she said.

Sarmila Tamang, 25, worked as an ECCD facilitator in Thimphu. She is also on a lookout for a job before the Kidu period draws to a close.

“At the moment, the Kidu money is spent on purchasing grocery items and paying the house rent, but in the long run, I will need a job to sustain a living. At least at the moment, it (Kidu) has given me a huge relief,” she said.

According to the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu Center more than half the Kidu beneficiaries are from the tourism sector and hotel industries and rest are from other impacted sectors.

As per the team who manages the hotline, the number of callers has reduced as compared to last month.

The Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu was launched on 14 April 2020. The Kidu program will provide people with the option to work in certain sectors by taking their information, willingness to work and area of interest, so it can be aligned with the government’s upcoming stimulus program.

If the COVID-19 situation persists the Kidu will be extended for another few months though the amount could be slightly reduced.

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