Climate friendly uniforms

I was in Phuentsholing over the weekend and it was a pleasant break. One evening I was near the Bhutan gate and I sat there watching what seemed to me like the busiest place in the country. I did not quite count the number of vehicles and people. leaving and entering, but it certainly seemed like it could have been well over thousands.

Scores of vehicles and people moving about, horns blaring and music blasting from the town nearby and add heat on that, monitoring people and vehicles definitely did not make their job look easy. The officials in grey uniform and the policemen in their blues, very diligently carry out their tasks. We are thankful they make it possible for us to sleep peacefully at night although we may not always mention it.

Sitting there and watching them, I wondered if there was anything that could be done to make their jobs a little less taxing. Uniforms identify workers and I do not intend on arguing about it. Uniforms also make it easier for staff to carry out their tasks in many ways. My short visual experience lets me to believe that uniforms could do all that and yet, make it easier for the person wearing it, to feel comfortable in it to discharge their duties with more comfort so that work could be done more efficiently. Working in the sweltering heat in uniforms which definitely serve the purpose of official identification could at the same time prove to be a little more user-friendly by reducing heat and hence less sweating and possibly more focus on what they maybe doing. I am quite certain that even under such high stress levels of both mind and body, the officials have not faltered in their duty but a little ease in doing what they do would make their lives easier.

Uniforms could become more comfortable depending on the work environment. It would allow for better efficiency and definitely a symbol of dynamism as befitting a public service provider when we talk so much of employee motivation and work environment.

While walking back to my car I realized just how hot Phuentsholing was beginning to become and thinking of how sweaty working there could be, I thought I needed a cold shower and something light to wear but what about those staff working there, day and night, hot or wet. I suppose they just have to wait till after work to get their cold shower.


About Sangay Khandu

Elected to Parliament of Bhutan twice. Previously worked with the Central Bank, the largest SoE (power utility) and international organization.
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2 Responses to Climate friendly uniforms

  1. JaaB says:

    Incidentally came across you blog and read about P’ling. Thinking of those in the wet uniform from the sweat standing to secure the situation in BKK downtown during the weeks of political rally, recalling the recent news about hails of the size of golf balls in US in the beginning of May, What is going on to the climate of our earth?

    BKK is about 2 ⁰c hotter than last year and it is about 39-40⁰c in last April and this May. Feeling as a piece of roasted pork in the oven when staying out!!! The change of world climate has been very obvious. It is getting worse year by year.

    By maintaining the quality and quantity of forests, keeping water sources in their natural but clean ways and controlling polluted materials Bhutan has got more chances to stay away for the rapid climate changes.

    The industrial area of Pasakha should be in the eyes of public. Those scrap and steel factories should be under the tight environmental policies. They should install the emission monitoring system to control the amount of smoke releasing from stacks. The factory, like one of the local beers, should have a good waste water treatment system. Seriously take these in order to prevent any future spending of hug amount of the country’s budget to cure the environment! I still want Bhutan to be a place where my family and my friends can live happily with a clean environment and get lesser effect from the global warming.

    • Thank you JaaB for sharing your views with me. Signs of global warming and consequently climate change, as you pointed out, is evident. My trip to Lunana thothormi GLOF mitigation project site brought me face to face with the horror of it all. It may sound a little exaggerated but I needed to see it to believe it.

      Bhutan and it’s fragile mountain eco-system is very vulnerable and given our limited resources, conservation has been the focus. The extensive reserve areas and biological corridors have been an attempt at that.

      Regarding monitoring of the industrial plants and resultant wastes, the waste management act 2009 addresses most of these issues. I say most because a law is only as good as the implementers and reviewing how these agencies have been performing is a mandate I carry being in the House that I am in. I hope I will have something for you and all in the coming times after studying in greater details.

      Thank you once again and hoping to hear more from you.

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