In solidarity with our first neighbor

When India is grappled with a massive surge in Coronavirus infections that has stretched medical facilities and resulted in shortages of oxygen across the country, Bhutan extends our solidarity to our first and foremost neighbor, India.

Bhutan and India shares a long and rich history-both politically and geographically. The two countries share strong emotional attachment and protect each other. Now, when our big brother is undergoing a difficult times, we Bhutanese must stand beside our big brother and support in every possible ways irrespective of our limited resources.

Meanwhile, the total number of people who have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is 13.83 crores.

Amidst India’s peak in second wave of COVID-19, it is also facing oxygen crisis and shortage of drugs and hospital beds in several states. The Delhi HC bench termed the massive rise of COVID-19 cases as a ‘tsunami’.

The sufferings of Indians are not unseen by Bhutan from top level to grass root level. Bhutan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Tandi Dorji offered “deepest prayers” and pledged “complete solidarity” with the Indian government.

When India is currently facing the “most difficult” phase of the pandemic, losing thousands of lives and many infected, many Bhutanese prayed for departed soul and for a speedy recovery. The central monk body also performed rituals to give emotional and spiritual strength in this grave situation.  

Foreign Minister’s remarks came on 24 April when India recorded 3.46 lakh new COVID-19 cases which is the world’s highest one-day surge in coronavirus infections for the third consecutive day. On behalf of Bhutanese he shared: “Our deepest prayers and complete solidarity to the government and people of India in this most difficult period of the pandemic. Praying and hoping for quick relief and recovery.”

Including the Prime Minister, all other ministers and officials also shared their solidarity through social media platforms. Journalists, social activists and other individuals expressed their grief over sufferings of Indians.

A significant mark to show Bhutan’s solidarity is supplying 40 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen to India. The oxygen will be exported using cryogenic tankers from a new plant from Motanga Industrial Estate in Eastern Bhutan’s Samdrup Jongkhar district. 

Supplying oxygen is a practical manifestation of the uniquely close and friendly ties between India and Bhutan. Office of Indian Embassy said that the provision of oxygen by Bhutan will augment India’s effort to win the fight against COVID-19 and save precious lives. 

India is burning. It is time we step forward in solidarity and pray for our neighbor who has always befriended us at all times.