Tourist guides in the country are planning to take up commercial farming as alternate source of income and sustain their livelihood after the Kidu period ends.
Executive Director of Guide Association of Bhutan (GAB), Sonam Tashi, said that it is a relief package for all the affected tour guides and also to prepare for their future after the Royal Kidu of three months.
“Before Relief Kidu was launched, they kept on asking for a job, and after His Majesty announced about the Relief Kidu, they said that they received a breathing space for three months, and if they do agriculture farming within three months and after three months when they finish the Kidu , there will be some yield and they can sustain their living from the agricultural farming,” he said, adding that six groups comprising of 45 tourist guides have come up with the proposals to do agriculture farming.
He said that the aim of the Kidu package from His Majesty is to provide some relief to individuals and businesses that are facing temporary financial constraints arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Kidu Relief Fund will help individuals and businesses facing financial adversities to cope with challenges during this period,” he said.
He said that those who are going to the construction sites will be beneficiary of both the job and the Kidu fund as they are the badly affected individuals.
”It is going to benefit the guides, especially the ones who didn’t opt for construction work or any other jobs; they will get a space for breathing for three months. They will get a time to be prepared within three months and see what they can do after that to sustain their living,” he said.
He added that GAB is calling up the affected ones and to visit the association for verification.
“We are calling up the affected ones and verifying every individual. We are looking into how they are affected and giving the verification,” he added.
A freelance guide based in Thimphu said that it is a good opportunity for those willing to take agriculture farming within the three months.
“After the announcement from His Majesty The King, I got motivated to do agriculture work to earn money. For the three months, I will be receiving Kidu and within this period I can do farming and after the Kidu period ends I can take my agricultural products to the market and make some money from it,” he said.
Tshering Deki, 25, a freelance guide, said that she applied for the Kidu Relief Fund.
“It is a blessing from His Majesty and it is going to help me to at least sustain for three month. We are very grateful to His Majesty for providing this Kidu,” she said.
Meanwhile, 434 guides have been verified by GAB for the Kidu Relief Fund till date.