Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Youth of Bhutan need their ministry

I’m a youth worker. I work with the only government organization (Department of Youth and Sports) that looks after youth concerns in Bhutan. Despite the department’s continued efforts addressing youth concerns (in collaboration with other youth-related agencies), we are, by each passing day faced with huge and more challenging youth problems. Now, I’d confess that youth problems in Bhutan have become beyond our control. And we lack both technical and manpower capacity to address the current youth concerns.   

However, let’s not forget all this. The police department and BNCA are doing all in their power to curb youth problems. The Gyalpoi Zimpoen’s Office has been initiating many youth programmes all over Bhutan to engage youth meaningfully and impart them with life skills. Other youth-related NGOs are also providing necessary facilities and services, and organizing youth programmes for our youth. 

And there are a few individuals who work altruistically for youth in Bhutan. One such person is Lam Shenphen. He gathers youth abusing drugs, provide them necessary counseling and refer them for detoxification.

Tashi Namgay, the founder of Bhutan Kidney Association, is another individual who walks extra mile for the young people of Bhutan. When I visited his place last year, I was surprised to see four young boys (drug abusers) in his house. Tashi keeps these young unemployed addicts with him, in his house, under strict supervision and counseling. There are also other dozen of recovering addicts under his care and supervision. Tashi has attached most of these young addicts as intern, volunteer and part time worker in different organizations and business firms. Some, under his guidance and supports, are gainfully employed.
But now, due to increasing social problems (disintegration of family values, divorce, rural-urban migration, westernization and materialism, negative impact of social media, availability of drugs and gang culture) in Bhutan, youth are left vulnerable, indulging in all sorts of social ills.

And only a few individuals, one youth department and a few youth-related agencies are never enough to solve the current problems of youth in Bhutan. Moreover, the ministry of education is designed more towards school education and curriculums. So looking at youth population (50 percent of Bhutan’s population) and increasing youth problems, there’s immediate requirement of Ministry of Youth (or, at least, ministry for social problems) to address youth problems. With their own ministry, youth’s problems will be addressed through multi-pronged strategies, with more trained professionals and technical resources.  
 Photos: Hiromi

1 comment:

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