Future of ex-drayang employees and gaydrungs to depend on their own hands: PM

During the press conference with the media, when asked about ex-Drayang employees not being eligible for trainings that require educational qualification and as they struggle to make a living, the Prime Minister said that the ex-drayang employees have the same access to the opportunities created by the government.

“We are more than happy to help people who help themselves, and we have not pledged 100 percent employment for everyone. Drayang business should have taught all of us a good lesson. It was not easy. It was not an easy decision to discontinue the drayangs,” said the PM.

PM said while it pained him greatly to have to cease the operations of a flourishing industry such as drayangs, still he had to do what had to be done.

“It’s not that the drayang employees have been disqualified based on educational grounds. We are providing trainings to even those illiterate people who do not even know A,B,C, such as the village skilling program. We live in a Bhutanese society where all of us can support each other and build this nation,” said PM.

The Prime Minister further added, “This is request from our side to the ex-drayang employees: ‘Do what you can, lets move together.’ We will not be able to give them jobs that will earn them Nu 20-30 thousand. But we will do whatever it’s possible for them to be engaged, which will enable them to work harder and earn more. Some of them are going back to villages, taking up farming and others are opening up restaurants, and still others are taking up works, like tailoring. These groups will start doing better once things pickup. There is no blanket solution to their problems, but we must start working on making progress and hand-hold them.”

PM also said that there is no loan from any of the banks to whomever the government wants to give to.

“There is no such thing anywhere. Every banks has their own eligibility criteria, including the CSI’s governed by their own modus operandi, which we can neither bend nor break. NCGS has specific collateral-fee loan scheme and NCGS has dispersed almost a billion ngultrums. There the employees might get qualified for loan. If it’s plus and minus, we can request these agencies to kindly consider as before they are right on the fence. But now, it will be difficult, but not impossible to rehabilitate them based on their interests. Some are well settled, others lost and some others still hoping drayang business will come back. However it pains me to say it, drayang business is permanently closed and it will never come back. Same with the gaydrungs; 194 gaydrungs from this month will be out of jobs (including some of them who have been serving for the last 18-19 years). That decision was very difficult and painful to make, however, in order to build a nation, you have to make hard and serious decisions,” said PM.

PM furthers added that if the ex- drayang employees want to come forward, the office is open, same with the gyadrungs.

“I am working with them, if they want to rehabilitate themselves to something meaningful that will generate income to sustain their livelihoods now, and then keep on improving on it and even have dreams to be millionaire by our standards, they can. Some gaydrungs have even gotten themselves a professional drivers license and are driving the public transportations, boleros, taxis, etc., some have opted for poultry farming, agriculture farming, etc., and we are wholly supporting them, as in how we are supporting every other Bhutanese citizen. This opportunity is open for everyone, maybe they will suffer for one or two years, but I think they will able to sustain their own livelihoods somehow,” the Prime Minister concluded.

While there was no specific commitment the government had said that Drayang employees would be able to make a living due to the various opportunities by the government.

However, now drayang employees are largely on their own unable to support their families except for the Kidu.  

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