The fourth convention of Organization of Bhutanese Communities in America (OBCA) concluded on June 16 following discussion on the formation of Non-Resident Bhutanese (NRB) and giving continuity to community based programs, among others, and electing Hari Bangaley Adhikari as its new Chairperson.
The three day convention that kick started on June 14 also elected some new faces in its 29-member new board of directors and various office bearers, said a statement issued by OBCA.
The convention also entrusted Hari Uprety with the responsibility of the Vice-Chairman. Similarly, Hari Dhakal and Aita Raj Rai have been elected as Secretary and Treasurer for a tenure of two year.
The organization awarded Pratab Subba, present camp secretary of Sanischare Refugee Camp with the certificate and amount of the US dollar 501 recognizing his contribution to the Bhutanese fellows.
Yug Dabadi, who represented Punya Foundation, highlighted the latter’s activities through audio-visual presentation. According to Dabadi, majority of participants gave a positive feedback to the social services conducted by the foundation.
During the convention, an unofficial session on Non-Resident Bhutanese (NRB) was held for the interested participants facilitated by RP Subba and Mohan Tamang, according to OBCA. Some 60 individuals participated in this session.
And, the discussion of participants concluded that NRB concept should be further discussed, and it will be brought to attention of different community leaders to seek their ideas and suggestions.
However, the newly elected chairman of OBCA, Bangalay seemed reluctant on that aspect, and he expressed that for now he will be working selflessly to help people address their issues at local level.
“My concern at the moment is not the unity of ABA/OBCA or formation of NRB, but helping our friends at different cities solve their problems at my organization’s capacity”, stated Bangaley adding that he will work closely with ABA though.
“I have a very good relationship with members of ABA that would certainly help us move ahead, and I shall immediately start talking to friends at ABA and OBCA for possible joint future programs at different places”, adds Bangaley who is also the main person hosting ABA convention in Syracuse, NY in July this year.
The outgoing chairman of OBCA, DJ Khaling thanked everyone for supporting him during his tenure, and endorsed that the organization will continue its service to communities in the days ahead.
Parangkush Subedi from Philadelphia presented his recommendation for addressing the mental health issue of the community on the second day of the convention.
Some of the recommendations he spelled out for the OBCA to initiate networking are: create venue for the community members to exchange their ideas, share knowledge and perceptions, emotional management, understand and identify the copy-cat perceptions, positive role of media to prevent suicidal thoughts and the like.
“Resettled Bhutanese committed suicides based on impulsive act, and not a planned one. Therefore, prevention should focus on the decision making moment,” said Subedi.
According to him, more socialization was needed to express their feelings and the emotional management.
“We need to educate our community members to express their mental health condition openly with their health providers. Mental health condition such as depression cannot be solved by ‘one size fit all approach’; it should be client centric and problem based approach.”
This year’s convention of OBCA was hosted in Denver, Colorado, and was made possible by the tireless effort of Global Bhutanese Community Colorado, Inc.
(With inputs from Yug Dabadi, Denver, Colorado)