It is not that we never could understand why our young people are increasingly drawn to committing crimes. But we now have a study that points to certain causative factors and gives validity to our observations.

National Statistics Bureau’s qualitative analysis has found that poverty and unemployment among our young people are the leading factors that railroad them to engage in criminal activities.

Of the crimes young people committed between July 2012 and the same month of 2014, 15 percent was due to poverty. Crimes committed due to unemployment constituted 10 percent. Lack of education and difficult household and physical environment were also the contributing elements among others.

This is a worrying find indeed.

It is only natural that when young people are made to feel worthless and lack necessary guidance when they are growing up that they easily drift away; they have few meaningful options to pick from and adopt. Youth unemployment has been growing despite many interventions from different sectors at different levels. This is now giving rise to an even bigger societal problem – youth poverty – urging many young people to resort to undesirable means to eke out a living.

A society with a sizeable slice of forlorn and despairing young people is a society heading straight towards definite ruin.

Often the fault lies with the grownups. As Bhutan is rapidly prospering with new developments – social and economic – change seems to be overwhelming us. Increasingly, parents are finding themselves incapable of devoting good amount of time with their family. While father plays archery for weeks on end, mother has forgotten her home gambling away in dark and scandalous city dens. Children are growing up on the diet of ensnaring, seductive, and often-destructive television contents.

As naturally curious, young people take to unhealthy habits and engage in ruinous activities. All our young people need is some love and guidance, some parental care. Our young people having all these will help them find a dream for themselves, a purpose in life worth striving for. Having all these, our young people will not find reasons to drop out of school and waste their lives in drinks and drugs, and being unproductive citizens.

Much of the problem is our own making. There are things government can do and there are things every individual can do to improve the sad state of affairs with many of our young people today. But it must begin from home, parents.  We have blamed the government enough. The buck stops with you.