Considering the vulnerability and the weakening safety and security situation of the Bhutanese in the SF Bay Area, the Alameda,CA based Bhutanese non profit organization, BASCO in collaboration with the Oakland Police Department and the Office of the Council man,De La Funte, has introduced Bhutanese Emergency Assistance Card(BEAC) recently, according to the organization’s press release issued here on Wednesday.
BEAC is a wallet size card,which, according to them, is to be carried in person at all times. It has types of emergencies written and translated both in English and Nepali. In the event of any attacks, medical emergencies or accident, the person who knows no English or has no access to 911 call, will look in the vicinity and finds a “Safe House for Bhutanese” that displays Bhutanese flag or poster of the flag that has been agreed to be displayed by the willing business merchants and individuals as a gesture good will to our community. The victim will show the card pointing to the types of emergencies in the card so that the merchant will call appropriate authority and inform the community members to attend to the victim.
Their press release states “It is expected that this kind of community help and collaboration will bring down the crime rate targeted specifically to the Bhutanese people because of their vulnerability.
This card system was first introduced in the East Oakland areas- Fruitvale Ave, Coolidge Ave, School Ave and Nicole Ave as a pilot project and based on its effectiveness, the organization hopes that the same project will be made available in other parts as well.
BASCO has been showing high concern towards the safety and security of the resettled Bhutanese in Oakland, Alameda and its neighboring areas since its establishment.
In May 2009, the organization sent a letter to the Oakland Police Department(OPD) requesting the latter to speak directly to the new Bhutanese people and reassure them safety and security, share with them the ideas, precautions, tips and other useful tools at their disposal to help them establish a normal life.
It also has been encouraging the Bhutanese to attend Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council Meeting which takes place every month in community centers across the city in the presence of the police officers patrolling the neighborhoods.