Picture Courtesy: DNT facebook page

DNT President during campaign says youth unemployment is the biggest challenge

He clarified DPT’s misrepresentation of DNT’s pledges

On 30 September, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa(DNT) President, Lotay Tshering, met with the people in Rangjung and spoke about the DNT pledges. Following that, on 1 October, he met with the people in Trashigang and also met with the people in Mongar on 2 October.

On 3 October, DNT President continued his campaign in Autsho. 4 October the team travelled to Bumthang to meet with the people. Likewise, DNT also met with the people in Trongsa on 5 October, after which DNT is scheduled to meet with the people in Zhemgang on 6 October.

During his campaign in Trashigang, Lotay Tshering clarified the rumors aimed to malign DNT. He said false information and rumors are being spread about DNT pledges, such as corporatization of hospitals if DNT wins. He said these are all false and such rumors are doing damage to the party. On the other hand, he said, there are no such rumors about DPT as no one is out to malign DPT or its pledges.

“How can we unite when this is what people think or accuse, that DNT is pledging just for votes? We have been telling our party members and coordinators not to talk bad or against the other party which is why such things are not heard about them,” the DNT President added.

He said he will not regret even if he loses, “I came with a hope to at least win from 4 to 5 constituencies from the eastern dzongkhags,” he added. He also said that DPT is now concentrating in the south, which is good if they form a government, and likewise, DNT will try to do well in the 6 eastern dzongkhags.

On 30 September, he met with the people of Ranjung and was pleased acknowledged people who came out in front promising to support DNT.

He said that their pledges are quite different from other party. He said that pledges to enhance roads, water and hypdropower are equally important, and has been reflected in their manifesto as well.

In line to this, he said that, they had a talk with DGPC, whereby it was learnt that the plans to start Sunkosh and Kuri Gongri hydropower projects are under discussion with India.

Thereby, he said if DNT is given a chance, then they will make sure to support policies to start the project. In addition, they plan to support the establishment of small hydropower projects (50 to 100 mw) by BPC, CDCL and other agencies.

“Support is all we can give because we did not find any space to add more onto it nor we can do more than what they are doing,” he added.

He said a pressing problem is the youth unemployment is the main and biggest issue in the country whereby simply sending youths overseas doesn’t solve unemployment issue in the country.

He said that every year 5000+ youths do not qualify for class XI in government schools though they have secured PCA result and those are the one who are left jobless and indulging in drugs.

“When youth is given an opportunity to study until class XII, saved from having to worry about jobs and income at a tender age, made literate enough to decide for themselves, so they can opt to live their dreams in this life time, how can this be short-term pledge?”, he said.

He also said that the law does not allow employment at young age unless under special conditions. He said, “We are forcing them out on the street and then we are talking about solving youth issue?”

Of the total PCA students in a year, maximum of them come from poor families, and they are left jobless. They do not have the ability to do farming, he said. Thereby, DNT came up with a pledge to do away with class X cut off point as youth without jobs is the main cause of youth related issues.

To support 5,000 students in a year, he said, won’t cost much of the total budget (Nu 336 bn) of the 12 FYP to the government and this is doable issue. “I feel that there won’t be any who will not want to support this pledge. This is not to gain vote but to solve youth related issues and for better development,” he said.

In addition, he also said that the other way to address the issue can be from the childhood level. And this can be done by exclusively breastfeeding the newborn for six months. “I am doctor myself and I know the benefit of absolute breastfeeding.

If that can be done, common infant diseases can be prevented and will lead to healthy life of a baby. It also cut down the risk of getting cancer when the baby grows up,” he added.

The pledge of giving 6 months maternity leave for office goers is excellent, he said, with research, it was learnt that 85 percent of women who give birth are those from rural areas. DNT came up with the pledge to give allowance to rural mothers for six months so that they can feed the baby for better future. “We are not going to waste any money. We can find out the difference between child brought up with and without breast feeding,” he added.

Likewise, he said although the people know of the importance of internet connectivity however, there are a few who are against it and think it is a waste. “We are talking about free WiFi, as there are many who cannot afford it. The facility can enable our rural folks to stay connected, avail online government and banking services,” he said.

He also said that the youth, especially in villages, can find online study materials, carry out research and explore digital opportunities. He said, “By this, we are talking about full-fledged Internet not Intranet as DPT misconstrued.”  Providing free WiFi is doable and it will cost only Nu 200 to Nu 300 mn whereby it will benefit people in large numbers, he said.

They also pledged to promote tourism in country, whereby, DNT found out from Tourism Council Of Bhutan (TCB) that there are no policies in place to develop tourism. “It was sad to know that there is no Tourism Development policy. We found that nothing much could be done though it is an area where one can make a good income,” he added.

Therefore, DNT came up with a pledge to form a tourism development board and tourism policy which can be beneficial to all 20 dzongkhags in the next 5, 10 and 15 years.

“DNT’s pledges of doing away with class X cut off point, making WiFi available for free and introducing breast feeding allowance to mothers beyond civil and corporate services, are all above and beyond the 12 FYP.”

DNT President said the pledges are unconventional and yet doable ideas which is important for poor and rural people. “DNT’s pledges are for real change and 2018 elections is for change,” he added.

In addition, he said that since these are unique pledges, therefore, some people seem to be shocked. He said new ideas are brought by a new party in keeping with the times and a need for change as well.

“Thereby if people give a chance to a new party in every election, it is better way where people will be benefited by new ideas,” he added.

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