With ABA (Association of Bhutanese in America) still nowhere and seemingly in deep slumber despite much hue and cry from some quarters of our community, it is OBCA (Organization of Bhutanese Communities in America) that appear to have woken up and listen to the call of a general mass. Obviously, all Bhutanese in America are now looking desperately to see a guardian organization who could lead and represent them. Most importantly, any (new or old) umbrella institution with a mix of capable seniors and the new, emerging and energetic youths would certainly meet the expectation of the Bhutanese living in America!
In fact, almost all the diaspora coming in from different part of the world and living in different States of America have their own parental organization who have been able to bind and consolidate all their original natives together for a greater cause. History has it that a unification of likeminded souls with resounding chorus has brought a wave of a substantial impact in the political and social lives of America. Yet, metaphorically and beyond doubt, it is the growing Hispanic population that decided and determined the luck of Barrack Obama who eventually made his way twice to the White House in the sea of White population!
Meanwhile, before we roll up our sleeves to condemn and slander our leaders it is necessary to take a second thought—they are volunteers! They travel and convene meetings on their own expenses. They also have to do a fulltime job to build a good credit in America. As such, when even ‘the road to hell is built with good intention’ let’s all observe a patience and accept that they are still brainstorming for the greater welfare of the Bhutanese mass in America.
However, leaving aside the aims and objectives, structure and subsequent achievements (if any) on the part of OBCA/ABA, I ( as a concerned Bhutanese bloke residing in Tennessee) hope to see the entire debates, discussions, and a subsequent outcome with clear roadmaps evolve out of the following backdrops in the upcoming OBCA’s 5th National Convention at Fort Worth, Texas.
One, suicides among the Bhutanese living in America is beginning to take an alarming proportion. Although, there has been some efforts through different means to get hold of this ‘epidemic’ much is needed to be done. As such, the upcoming convention is expected to discuss elaborately on this issue and come out with some affordable means to at least mitigate the impending doom in our communities.
Two, a few months ago two of our community members were indicted of making ‘bomb threat’ while on their way from New York to Cleveland. The incident invoked a brief spell of panic all across America. Later they were released on bail. However, no any institution or strong and combined people ever came forward to defend their innocence to dispel all doubts on their part despite a huge storm in the American media. Hence, the incident not only drew our attention to carefully look at our frustrated and mentally impaired lots, it also told that the impact of their misbehavior at times goes beyond our imagination .All these need to be widely discussed on the table!
Three, on a recent crowd-funding spree for Nepal’s quake victims a few individuals stepped up and ran a donation campaign. However, many believed that much of the money went largely through different means, unnoticed. Had there been a set of united hands, it would have been enough to fill a single large coffer and the Bhutanese philanthropy would have been globally recognized.
Four, burgeoning and creative people under various shades and tints are emerging day by day in our population. Arts and literature are thriving in almost all the households. Bhutanese media and journalism are beginning to take a new shape. Understandably, they need inspiration and recognition from a legitimate institution to boost their morale. Soccer among our communities is trending and eyeing a good future. Therefore, a strong and able board of executives is indispensable to oversee, guide and bolster the budding stars of our communities.
Five, annual affairs like Interstate Bhutanese Soccer and the Himalayan Festival are by and by gaining grounds and turning into big events. Beside entertainments and a public show, these events have also provided a venue for meeting friends and socialization. At times we cannot rule out a possibility of conflicts and differences. As such, an ad-hoc committee to oversee the state of affairs is imperative.
Six, by and by Bhutanese are shedding their ‘old’ identity and getting American citizenship in their hands. It means they are entitled to vote. Meantime, with the population of projected 80,000 and the new borns, the mass of Americans of Bhutanese origin in future cannot be easily undermined to bring a substantial impact in American politics. Thus it demands a legitimate parental body to consolidate, unite and take the Bhutanese population along!
Although we are living in a better world we also remain equally challenged with a number of other issues prevailing in our society. Drinks and drugs among our youths, family feuds and disintegration, hassles with obtaining licenses for our older parents and illiterates, intimidation in workplaces, etc. are also some of the pressing issues of our time.
At times we might think it’s the American government, law and constitution that bind all together and see all state of affairs. But, as a new and growing population in a far -off land we all need to pull along with unison and combined effort to carve a strong future!
Given that the present convention at Texas gave birth to a new set of visionary, ideal and spiritually strong leadership and if all goes well as intended, funding to execute their tasks might not be a problem. All Bhutanese individuals and households in America are now capable of bestowing a few dollars for a good cause!
Good luck to all the key speakers and attendees! May the convention generate hope and commit a new lease of life to one and all! Amen.
Note: This article was on hold for some clarity and is rectified with author’s consent. The author is one of the freelance columnists. The views expressed are solely of the author and doesn’t represent that of BNS. Inconvenience caused to our valued readers is regretted -Editors