The rich and famous tend to get extravagant gifts for their birthday, but what the king of Bhutan wanted for his 40th (which took place on February 21, 2020) was for people to do good.
On behalf of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering asked Bhutanese people to adopt a stray dog, plant a tree, or clean up neighborhood waste in honor of the king’s birthday. “Personal commitment such as this,” the PM wrote on Facebook, “would be the best gift for His Majesty.”
Bhutan has a stray dog problem, but the government is trying to address the issue with the launch of Bhutan’s National Dog Population Management Strategy last year. The plan aims to reduce the number of free-roaming dogs and improve their health and welfare through adoption and other humane initiatives, and the king’s birthday initiative is yet another example of these efforts.