The records maintained with the Public Grievances Redressal Division, as of March 28, show that there have been 77 Meet-the-People program with about 770 people having attended the meetings.
The program sees the highest number of appeal for employment search at 205 cases, and it is followed by the census related issues at about 168 cases. The people attending the meeting also discuss issues on loan default, divorce, business license and penalties.
A focal person of the Grievances Redressal Division (GRD), Sonam Tobgyel, said that an average of 10 people attend the Meet-the-People program every Saturday.
He said that people share their grievances. “We are always trying to help all the people coming forward during the Meet-the-People program,” further stating the challenges of the program, “The challenges are that people want things to happen immediately and people want it to happen tomorrow, but nobody can do it and it cannot happen overnight, and that’s a great challenge.”
He said that around 60 percent of the grievances have been redressed. GRD also found that most of the submissions made were not within the rules and regulation, but in conflict with it. “Therefore, it’s difficult for the office to render necessary help. In such cases, we provide clarifications,” Sonam Tobgyel said.
He added more realistic submissions that are within the rules and regulations are being made as of late. “Now, people are beginning to understand the real purpose of the Meet-the-People program. Earlier all sorts of submission were made.”
Counseling and advocacy program alongside to encourage more people to attend the Meet-the-People program. People from dzongkhags, like Bumthang, Zhemgang, and as far as from Trashiyangtse, travel to Thimphu attend the program and to share their grievances. As of now, the Meet-the-People program is mainly conducted in Thimphu. GRD says there are no concrete plans of conducting the program in the other dzongkhags.
The Meet-the-People program, conducted every Saturday, provides citizens with an access to the government to directly meet with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers without seeking an appointment. It provides a platform for the people to share their grievances, ideas to solve their problem.