A small but significant shift

A youth group will assume the cleaning responsibilities for two neighbourhoods in Thimphu city.

The thromde has contracted out the responsibility to the Youth Social Service Centre, which is composed of 22 members.

This is a small but very significant beginning of a new model of keeping our streets, and our country clean.

Both the group and the thromde must be commended for this idea.

That young educated Bhutanese will be cleaning our drains and roads indicates that we’re chipping away at an outdated and irrational stereotype that blue collar jobs are not for us.

We’re seeing similar signs of this in other areas with more youth taking up jobs once reserved for expatriates.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end of this harmful stereotype.

The group will be paid Nu 130,000 a month to begin with, and the thromde has assured that if performance expectations are met or exceeded, there will be more work and more money.

This is an important element to keep up the momentum of this social shift.

If Bhutanese are to take up some of these so-called dirty jobs, it is important that passion is rewarded with recognition and money so that those involved can take pride in their work.

Being an educated group, it would be natural to expect that efficient practises of cleaning are adopted, preemptive measures to decrease waste generation are taken such as raising awareness of residents, and violators are fined.

It is important that the thromde provide its full support when residents do not respect the group’s members when attempting to fine violators or raise awareness, no matter who that resident might be.

It is important that this project succeeds. When locals are responsible for cleaning their own streets and towns, and are supported and motivated, the passion will be contagious. Residents will be more willing to listen to those who are passionate rather than someone simply doing a job. We respect motivated and passionate workers.

Eventually, we could see many more such youth groups take up such responsibilities in our other towns. This is yet another wonderful initiative in our drive to eliminate our poor waste disposal habits.

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