About 30 youth, consisting of students from primary to higher secondary schools are working in 18 ticket counters in Phuentsholing this winter.

The students say they work to self-finance their education and reduce the burden on their parents.

Jamyang Choden Dorji, 12, is one of the students who spend their time in the bus stop. She is eyeing for people heading to pilgrimage to India or Nepal.

With a notebook in her hand, she hums songs and moves around the ticket counters located beside the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) building.

The class VII Phuentsholing Higher Secondary School student said she joined a ticketing agent of her mother’s friend on December 6.

She claimed she sold more than 60 pilgrimage tickets, the highest among her group.

The agent owner, BB Pradhan, pays her a monthly salary of Nu 5,000. “She is paid higher than her colleagues who are older than her,” he said. “She is a smart girl.”

Another student, Chimi Yangden, 10, started the work yesterday. “I think I will love the job.”

She said she would work until the academic session restarts.

Chimi Yangden is part timing on commission basis payment. She would be given a commission of Nu 1,000 if she sold a ticket for Tsho Pema pilgrimage in Himachal Pradesh, India or the Nepal pilgrimage package. For one ticket sold for Bodhgaya, Bihar, India, she would be paid Nu 100.

Another student, Nisha Rai, had earned enough to pay for her school fees in 2017 season. “Besides selling tickets here, I own a ticket counter. I got encouraged after seeing my friends and relatives do the business.”

The 18-year-old commerce student said that the real business was entirely different from what she understood in the commerce textbooks. “It is not as easy as it appears.”

Meanwhile, a single mother, who is a member of Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE), raises Jamyang Choden.

The mother, Sonam Choden, said her daughter would save the earnings in her piggy bank account. “My husband left us when I was still pregnant,” she said.

Sonam Choden said her daughter is an understanding girl and does all the household chores at home.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing