De-Suung Training: The Test of Time

Since its inception in February 2011, 4,457 (3,236 Male and 1,221 Female) DeSuups had already been trained at Tencholing, Wangduephodrang when the 37th Batch completed their training in February 2020. These men and women from diverse backgrounds, are spread across the country and have been serving their fellow citizens diligently. It is reassuring that the numbers will only grow bigger.

My enrolment in DeSuung has been a dream come true in many ways. I have been trying to undergo the training for the past 5 years at least, but each time something or the other prevented me from doing so. I was able to take advantage of the opportunity to finally become a DeSuup this year, by enrolling in the 38th Batch Accelerated Training held at the Royal Bhutan Police Training Institute in Jigmeling.

DeSuups have earned recognition over the years for their unity, strength, courage and service to the society, and their beautiful orange uniform has become a recognisable symbol of their dedication. The DeSuung program has highly acclaimed trainers and training course.

I was determined that I would become a DeSuup someday, no matter at what age or status. In my view, DeSuung is a fine program for nurturing values and building volunteer services in the country.

DeSuung is a personal initiative of His Majesty The King, born of His Majesty’s concerns for our society and country, and it is our duty to ensure that it fulfils His Majesty’s expectations. DeSuung is an epitome of volunteerism, enabling individuals to become leaders. I have personally seen many good examples set by DeSuup friends across the country during any national events and disasters.

The first few days of the training was quite challenging, as we had to enter a tightly scheduled program straightway, but things started to get better as time passed. The different sessions were tough and challenged us in various ways, but they were also packed with interesting and valuable opportunities for learning. There was no time to be idle. We spent all our energy and gave each element of the training our best efforts. I always had a fear of disappointing the faculty by not living up to their expectations, and this helped me give my 100 percent.

The DeSuung training made me realise that in order to achieve something, we must work very hard. I have never sweated as much as I did on the RBPTI ground, and it also really hit me that nothing in life is ever free. The quote by Jodi Livon, ”Life isn’t always a bed of roses”, came to mind.

The DeSuung training at RBPTI was delivered by a team of established professionals and energetic trainers from both within the institute and outside. The sessions were well designed for our personal and professional growth and to further the cause of nation building by inculcating the right attitude. It was a great opportunity to learn many indispensable subjects, from the basic dress code to table manners to IED to various disasters and its management. We also got to enjoy a lot of interesting activities, including route walks, swimming and rappelling. Rappelling at RBPTI ground was an eventful occasion, where some screamed and few cried in fear. We all created memories to last a lifetime.

I found the weapon handling lessons very valuable. We began with curiosity and enthusiasm, but ended up exhausted and with a deep appreciation for such skills. We learnt the importance of self-discipline, and also that there is no room for ignorance.

We were extremely blessed to receive an Audience with His Majesty The King, who made time to meet with us despite having travelled a great distance and with many other important concerns in mind.

His Majesty shared with us those concerns, regarding our fight as a nation against COVID-19, the importance of guarding our porous southern borders in order to keep the country safe, and the rapidly changing world situation.

His Majesty shared concerns over the economy, and preparedness of the on-going five-year plan and education for emergencies. His Majesty reiterated that we couldn’t afford to be slow and complacent, and have an easy-going mindset. We must unite, dedicate, and remain resilient in all times. We got to see how His Majesty is concerned and thinking about everything that will affect the lives of the people, and we were deeply inspired to serve our country to our fullest abilities.

His Majesty also expressed pride and satisfaction with the success of the DeSuung program and the dedicated service of the DeSuups not just during the present time, but during every national event and disaster. His Majesty conveyed appreciation and admiration for De-Suung program from His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and His Holiness the Je Khenpo. We were filled with pride and sense of duty upon hearing this, and even more determined to serve our great nation.

His Majesty’s Audience reassured and calmed us, as we understood that Bhutan is safe and the government is preparing well and doing everything to combat COVID-19.

I would like to share a few useful things I leant. As part of dining hall etiquette,  watch your footsteps and walk slowly. Less and low conversation is respected. Avoid talking across the dining table. Be mindful of what you take inside your plate. Try not to waste food, food wastage is considered a crime in the mess.

If you aren’t naturally athletic, take care of your physical fitness. Take extra caution during classes on drill, morning PT and doubled-up runs, progress step-by-step and not at once. If your fitness level is towards the low end, it may be difficult to cope up with some exercises, and over exertion will only cause damage. Therefore, always watch your footsteps and muscle condition, otherwise, you may land up risking your whole training period.

My take home messages from DeSuung training are many. I spent very less time in front of a  screen, which saved lot of my data package. I learnt to value time. I learnt the power of team work and cooperation, and the importance of being trustworthy and resourceful, resilient and astute, polite and patriotic, courageous and bold, focused and honest- guided by the DeSuup code of honour.

I would like to thank the faculty of RBPTI along with the 298 other DeSuups of the 38th Batch training at Jigmeling for the knowledge and wisdom of a lifetime that they shared with me. The highly committed professionals of the institute have enabled us to serve the Tsa Wa Sum with patriotism.

Throughout my life, this training will remain one of the rare and important moments to remember. I will consider it an achievement for a lifetime, and also an achievement for my family, my parents, and my country.

I am a DeSuup now. I can proudly hang my beautiful orange dress in my room with pride. I have earned it with lot of sacrifice, and I am now ready to serve my King Country and People round the clock. DeSuups are truly the guardians of peace, and I am proud to be one.

By Sancha Bdr. Rai

The writer took part in the 38th Batch of De-Suung Program at RBPTI, Jigmeling.

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