Saturday, 28 April 2012

Youth Related Problems in Bhutan;

Youth are the jewel of the nation. Bhutan is a young country with more than 60 percent of the population being youth between the ages of 10 and 29 years. The youth of today are the citizens of tomorrow and as such, the future of nation lies in the hands of youth of today. So the youth have the privilege enjoy better opportunities and priorities. 

However, at this age the very jewel of the nation is faced with diverse problems. Despite governments continued efforts in addressing youth concerns in collaboration with other youth-related agencies, we are faced with huge and more challenging youth problems, which not only deteriorate the life of youth themselves but also pose a great threat and concern for the society. Youth related problems require wider dimension for discussion and broader understanding for its solution.
The diversity of youth related problems ranges from loss of values by defying the very ethos of our society, social alienation, substance abuse, the juvenile delinquency, unemployment, etc. Looking at the current trend in our country, the juvenile crime is causing more menace and anxiety to the society. It is indeed abominable for the general public to see the audacious youth commit various crimes like battery, stabbing, and robbery, gang fight etc.., but if we assess deeper into the cause, it might be the unemployment which compels our youth to adopt incorrigible lifestyles.

Unemployment is a serious issue in Bhutan. Though the overall unemployment rate is at a datum low of 3.1 percent, the percentage of youth languishing without work has remained at 9.2 percent for the last two years. The Labour Force Survey of 2011 conducted by the labour ministry shows that the youth unemployment continues to be a pressing issue. It is when the children doesn’t have a proper responsibility that they swarm the urban areas and socialize with the birds of same feather, thus doing many mischief. They lose respect for the elders and parents, they do not appreciate the sacred values rather indulge into hooliganism and inculcate the same to others. They land up taking drugs, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol in name of entertainment.

While people might consider such youth coward and with week will power not having the courage to make one’s life meaningful, but then we never know what kind of mental trauma they are actually facing. Just imagine a situation where you have a degree certificate but could not get a decent job due to career mismatch. It was a mistake that lead you choose the wrong specialization, but it is more fateful when you have to visit one office after another in search for a job and land up nowhere. In fact, most of our unemployed youth are class X and class XII graduates, and the pain of getting a good job is even more painful for them.

Don't Misuse!
The youth problems are at the rise but it can be controlled if we have a will. Like the expectations that we have from our youth, they too anticipate something. What they need is love from the parents, advice and right guidance, career oriented quality education, better recreational facilities in the town, etc. They should be taught to be discrete and respectful for elders and need to shower to them all the sacred values that are steeped in the land of Gross National happiness. Government need to integrate social and economic policy framework to support our youth and help them develop entrepreneurship skills so that they can make their own living and we need to help them pursue their dreams. Moreover, our youth should in themselves, develop a concern for at least oneself and develop a mindset full of love for one’s life, because in love lies the secret power to overcome all the odds. "The positive force of love can create anything good, increase the good things, and change anything negative in your life." Say Rhonda Byrne in her book, The Power.

Meanwhile our societies should never fail in delivering the best guidance and facilities to our youth and keep a close surveillance to them not as criminals but as dynamic yet delicate minds so as to address the problems related to them. For a society that is undergoing rapid changes each passing day, minor problems are inevitable.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Under the Shade of Eucalyptus.

That Eucalyptus.
We were a batch of students on a field excursion to a nearby forest area. Escorted by Dr. Sivaji, a veteran Silviculturist, our task was to carry out the regeneration survey of sal. Sal, botanically known as Shorea robusta is one of the most profuse species and of great economic importance in the region. Speeding through the expressways, bumping over the convolutions, and with regular inertia of rest and motion, a two-hour drive finally reached us in a core of natural sal forest, which was so luxuriant and dynamic, beautifully adorned with greenish florescence.

By then, it was already eleven and the sun was blazing excessively from the azure sky. It has been always a hectic and torturing field experience due to the scorching heat in the mid spring months but then, it is better though difficult. The more pain one endures for a good cause, the more one reaps the better result.

Therefore, into respective groups we endeavoured our task. Taking the baselines, measuring the offsets, and amid the undergrowths of excessive herbs and shrubs, we were to carry out the survey. “A presence of one established seedling fetches five points, and under such situation the value of woody or whippy plants in the same quadrant should be ignored.” Dr. Sivaji directed us. Instantly I thought that the pains of little struggles in the journey of life should be ignored when we are yet to achieve a result that yields the maximum point.

By the time we finished our task, we were very exhausted. The bottle of water that I carried has become warm and it quenched no thirst of mine. Silently and solitarily I walked by the shades of nature and as I reached the edge of the forest, to my astonishment I saw a lone Eucalyptus tree growing there. Beneath the shade of the eucalyptus I rested.

Heard from above were the rustling of its feathery leaves and with the air filled with its fresh and pleasant aroma, I felt a wonderful sensation under its shade. It’s indeed really amazing when such a species of Australian origin have flourished over the entire world, and it’s more fascinating when such a lone exotic survives among the groove of native sal. More mesmerizing, when under its shade, I discovered my tranquil amid tiredness.

Life is a continuous flow. In order to meander the valleys, it has to torrent down the hills and cliffs. We should not be living within the limited boundary of an enclave but have to keep exploring the wider horizons to discover the real potential and values just the way the single eucalyptus has found its secure sanctuary.

Contemplating on the changes undergoing on the tree, I was enthralled by the way it responded to changing season. As the cold winter has long given it way to the warmth of spring followed by the sweltering summer heats, I could see the tree replacing its thick brown barks with thin layer glistening whitish one. Adversity is the mother of awareness. Like the old fissured barks, we have to peel off our anomalous habits and inculcate the budding of positive values. We never know, in our life, where we will face the quirky twist of fate. We should develop in ourselves, a sort of immunity to adapt to the odd changes.

Under its shade as I lay silently, I felt rejuvenated, profound and tranquil, free from weariness. But the silence was broken when I heard a song of an Indian roller from above. A tiny bird with a stunning plumage, I could sense its joy of freedom amid the woods. In its songs, the bird discovered its ecstasy. It was indeed a euphoric moment for me in the woods as well. In our life, we should soar higher like the free bird and should celebrate every escalation but not forgetting that we ascended from the ground. When the bird lands on earth, so does its shadow.

As thoughts and emotions kept arising, suddenly a leaf fell over my shoulder. I picked it up and could judge that it was indeed a green leaf without any uneven tinge. How such a healthy leaf got detached from the tree? I thought. Gazing up in the canopy of its stretching branches, I could see the branches dancing in breeze and upper in the sky, I could see clouds drifting but soon it disappeared from my sight. Just like the transient clouds, like the fall of a healthy leaf and like the branches shaking with forces of wind, everything is uncertain. The song of the bird too faded and only echoes remained in my ear. A gush of cold air caressed my face and I learnt that the sun has shifted towards the western horizon. It was time for me to go and join the folk who have finished another task. As such, the pleasant moment I enjoyed beneath the shade of eucalyptus was also transitory in nature.

However, the momentary bliss that I attained there, the free thoughts that I contemplated and the reminder of impermanence by the nature added in me an extra zeal to tackle the mazes in the journey of my life to make it worth a living one. I then joined my folks and retraced our way back to the college only to continue with the same mundane.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Simple Reminders from Nature.

Spring is the season of hope, with the nature recuperating from the pains of harsh winter. With the sprouting of new shoots, and blooming of fruit trees, the peasants hope for a bountiful harvest when the autumn season comes. They experience hectic days by slogging in the farm and their pockets would be now void of any savings or it might be less than half-full, with expenditure for their children’s education, farm seeds and equipments. At such a time, their only hope is for nature’s fair play with the beauty of spring.
beauty of spring

However, Mother Nature seems dissatisfied with the way our people are dealing with it and it seems least bothered about the hopes of our poor peasants. It is revealing more of its tragic fate than the lyrical essence and comical existence it possess.

Of late, forest fire devastated many parts of our country. The cause, be it due to cruel intentional or regretful accident, engulfed potential resource of the nation and also startled many innocent farmers, who have to rush for battling the fire leaving behind their field works. In such an adversity, Mother Nature instead of showering a heavy down pour, fuels up the fire by strong winds.

whats in the store of nature?

Besides, windstorms and fires are also leaving many families in destitute with their homes destroyed. I could not resist the mental trauma when I read news headlines that says ‘roofs of many homes blown by wind and heavy rain,’ or that ‘a house is being gutted down by fire’ etc. Last time, wind blew off the roofs in Wangdue and Punakha and now it has shifted its direction to the east, where as many as 14 houses were destroyed in Mongar. At such a time, it will be very difficult for the victims to restore their homes to former shape and recover their lost properties.

Moreover, the country is deep into agony due to the rupee crunch, the worst economic crisis the generation has experienced as they say. How much extra sum will our poor farmers have to pay for the new CGS sheets they will have to buy to restore their home?

So in order to remain self reliant and happily in our own homes, we should be visiting our farms than the vegetable markets, worshiping the nature than setting it on fire, practicing the cultural ethos than ignoring them, so as to please the guardian deities that dwell our homes. It is only when the Mother Nature is satisfied with the way we act that it bestow us the beauty, whose joy would last forever.

Everything that troubles us is but a reminder for us to change the direction we are following.