Beldangi school fire destroys two classrooms


Fire destroyed at least two classrooms of Green Vale Academy in Beldangi-I camp, Sunday evening.

The mishap that broke out at 7:20 pm Nepal Standard Time completely burnt down two classrooms, informed one schoolteacher.

Next two rooms used by special need support teachers were dismantled to bring fire under control.

Camp-based Armed Police Force and exiled Bhutanese took almost an hour to bring the mishap, whose cause remained unidentified, under complete control.

Reported by Tulsi Upreti from Beldangi-I camp for BNS


  1. Thanks to Bhutan News Service for quickly reporting this important incident of fire in Beldangi and for keeping its readers informed of latest developments.

    I was told while I was visiting Beldangi camp, that cooking was not permitted inside of a hut. I also saw big dishes (Solar cooking devices)almost everywhere in the camps to be used for cooking. I saw people cooking inside of their huts, and I was told those solar dishes take too long to cook, and that is why nobody uses them. Cooking inside of the huts obviously is the main reason for the most fires in the camps. But today’s fire has damaged a school classroom, and obviously nobody was cooking there. Probably smoking cigarettes caused this fire. Anyway, thank God, no one got hurt. UNHCR, hopefully will rebuilt those damaged rooms soon.

  2. We been hearing and reading these kinds of messages/ posts every months. What’s the problem? Partially cemented wall Burns…..what the foolish…..what the caretakers been watching for? This is just carelessness. Its been shame to let world know by posting This kinds of news in internet. Its Shame..its just the carelessness of people over there…….. o God….give them some awareness…..this is shame…..

  3. very sad to know about FIRE again.ROME……..its not a matter to blame eachother. the caretaker has nothing to do with invisible power as the area he has to watch may be big and he may be the only one there to guard the school.

  4. Dear Shahid, First of all I would like to thank you for keeping concern for our cause as I have been reading your positive comments. Yes, the news of fire is very shocking. But I just want to comment you on one thing when you wrote ‘cooking was not permitted inside of a hut’. I am not known who told you about this fact. Yes it is true that people were discouraged to use the firewood in order to preserve the green forest around when they were distributed the solar disc. But we were never told not to cook inside the hut.

  5. Dear Sushil Niroula:

    Thanks for your kind words about me and thanks for correcting me.

    Some of my Bhutanese friends in my area also have corrected me about “Prohibition” of cooking inside of the huts.

    I think whoever in the camp, told me that cooking was not permitted inside of the huts, meant to say it was discouraged to burn the wood to preserve the green forest. But I am little confused here. It was only one person in Beldangi camp who told me that burning wood for cooking purpose was not permitted inside of the huts, but I think more than one or two individuals living in the camps have told me the same thing.

    Personally, I feel, in Nepali culture (And in my culture also) women and girls are unwilling to cook food outside of their homes, being in open view of other people other than their own family members. So how the UNHCR management could have made cooking inside of the huts, illegal or prohibited?

    On the other hand, burning wood inside of the huts, for cooking purpose, obviously, could cause the spread of fames, and as a result, destruction of that hut and possibly other huts in the neighborhood since all huts are made of bamboos. I think it is true that cooking carelessly in the huts was the reason for many fires in the camps, in the past.

    I am also failed to understand why some huts have power supply (Electricity), and some do not? (In Pathri camp, many residents have power supply, but probably no hut in Beldangi camp has power supply).

    I have been given two different answers to that question. I was told it was completely legal to have electricity wires going into the huts, and I also was told that that practice was unsafe and illegal and some huts residents were getting electricity illegally, and without getting approval from UNHCR, and do not pay bill for using electricity. (In other words, they are stealing power supply with the help of corrupt city officials).

    I wanted to get straight answers from the UNHCR officials on these issues but I just did not bother with asking questions to UNHCR officials in Nepal, probably because my main purpose of visiting the refugee camps in Nepal was meeting those people directly who are living inside of the huts, and that is why I tried to spend almost all of my available time, in meeting and talking to those people who bravely are facing hardships inside their camps for last almost 20 years.

    Only people living in those camps know the truth.

    By the way, I was impressed to see people living in the huts, keep their huts very clean all the times. Almost every hut in the camps I visited was decorated with pictures and newspapers.

    Thinking of my visits to refugee camps in Nepal, makes me smile. I wish I could visit all the refugee camps again, before all refugees leave for America and other countries, and Inshallah (With my Allah’s willing), I will visit all of the camps in Nepal, and will meet very simple and very lovely people living in those refugee camps, in near future.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA

  6. Dear Shahid M. Pasha,

    Your contribution and the write-ups deserves high praise. And your recent visits to our refugee camps in Nepal tells me how rich you are in the feeling of humanity.

    Still, I felt like writing you some facts about our refugee life in Nepal. It is not true that we were forbidden to use the firewood inside the camp. Though it was illegal to cut the green forest but we were allowed to use the firewood after we buy those products from the local people who used to bring for sale in the camps.

    To your queries of women or girls not cooking outside the house is not true again as they are allowed to move anywhere freely. Yes they were some restriction for female in our community in the generation earlier and still found sometime even today as ours too is a male dominated society. But now the people have realized that the women should also be given opportunity to participate equally in their own choices which have been seen in most of the families today.

    Using electricity was not legal again. It could have any reason like may be a safety reason and also the facilities that the refugee receive must not be above the facilities of the local people as most of the neighboring villages of the refugee camps were beyond the reach of hydro-electric power.


    Sushil Niroula
    Adelaide, South Australia

  7. I am very sorry to hear about this. My daughter and I visited Beldangi I in September 2010. We met so many hardworking and dedicated people. I hope you are able to get school quickly functioning again. Any of you who end up in New Hampshire, USA, come say hello when you get here!

  8. Hellow Bhutanese friends,

    who is this shahid M. Pasha?I see this man’s comments every where in Bhutanese issues.Look the patterns how he entered into our issues.In his outset, he used to peep Bhutanese diaspora,now he is completely inside?Is not this man behind frequent fire incidents in the camps? Look his comment in recent news of fire incident in camp,he is there to know every thing.He has more time to visit bhutanese related links than many real bhutanese,that means he is making life out of the fate of our people.Friends, be careful with this paid virus.

  9. Hello to all of those Bhutanese refugee friends, old and young, men and women, girls and boys, I met in Pathri, Beldangi-1, Beldangi-2, and Beldangi-3 refugee camps, in April 2011. I miss you all, very much, and hopefully I will meet you again soon, there in the refugee camps or here in America.

    Why I spend so much of my personal time writing on Bhutanese issues?
    Why I spend almost all of my available personal time with Bhutanese resettled people here in America?
    Why a vast majority of former and current Bhutanese refugees (99% of them), loves me?

    The answer to these questions is: They love me, and I love them.

    And why a handful of commentators here on Bhutan News Service, dislike me?

    May be they just do not like me because I am not a Bhutanese, I am not a Hindu, and I do not speak their language?

    God bless all of the former and current Bhutanese refugees living here in America and anywhere else in the world.

    Mr. Shahid M. Pasha, Massachusetts, USA.