The case of around 600 Bhutanese youth lured into a Ponzi scheme in Siliguri disguised as an assured employment scheme is revealing, and tells us where our priorities should lie.
Most of these youth, though they are educated, are from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds and are primarily from rural areas.
The above case shows that there is a growing gap growing between the haves and have not’s in Bhutan.
The increase in Gini Coefficient numbers over the last ten years can best be summed up in the case above.
One one hand there are whole segments of society desperate for any opportunity to the extent of even being willing to join a dubious scheme and stay in inhumane conditions, while on the other hand the rich are getting richer.
Bhutan has ignored this growing and desperate segment for too long and the solution is not just about providing jobs.
There has to be social infrastructure investments right from the grassroots up and these youths should be given a chance at the beginning of their lives.
This has to start with good care and nutrition when the child is young followed by a good and quality education and other support mechanisms. For that we have to make more investments in Bhutan’s social sectors like health, education, higher education, skill development etc.
Jobs only come much later in this long chain and by then the youth should be healthy and well educated enough to take on and hold quality jobs.
Instead, many of these poor youth are equipped with poor quality education and are unable to compete with the brainer children of middle class and upper middle class Bhutanese who enjoyed better facilities from a young age.
It is also time to think hard about where we or our economic policies are growing wrong, so much so, that our youths are ready to be economic migrants to Siliguri and be cheated, while our GDP numbers continue to get better and better.
We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.