The recent kind gesture of Pema Choki and Tandin Wangchuk, who are Class XII students of Phuentsholing Higher Secondary School and Norbu Academy in Phuentsholing, handing over a plastic bag that they found to Phuentsholing Police, should not go unnoticed by the people. The bag contained Nu 49,000 (forty nine thousand), which is a large sum of money, especially to the students.

In 2011, Tashi Dawa, a freelance driver from Pemagatshel, was honoured with the National Order of Merit (silver) by His Majesty The Druk Gyalpo for his integrity and honesty by returning to the rightful owner Nu 90.38 million he had found.

This is a display of true character of honesty and integrity by true citizens, reflecting the very ethos of our national character. These are the values and principles that fundamentally every Bhutanese should posses and uphold. Every parent, teacher, bureaucrat, public servant and politician must practice and inculcate such values to their children, students, subordinates and voters.

Today, two of our youth showed us how we can be better citizens and made every Bhutanese proud and thankful. In line with the characters shown by our youth, our democracy must also be nurtured and embedded with the values and principles of honesty and integrity as we navigate into the future. Democracies all over the world have a negative connotation of lying, stealing, cheating and deceiving. Can we make our democracy different? Yes, we can if all our citizens are like Pema, Tandin and Tashi.

Our Druk Gyalpos have always reminded the nation about the importance of the quality of our youth for the Drukyul’s future. Here is one from His Majesty The Druk Gyalpo’s 2007 National Day address: “When I speak of the future, I am speaking of you, our youth. I have always believed that a nation’s future is mirrored in the quality of her youth and that it is the government’s sacred duty to provide a good education and a conducive environment for you to become strong, capable leaders for the future.”

Hats off to our youth for displaying such high quality character of trustworthiness and living up to the expectations of all. At least for now, prognosis is that our future is secure and safe in the hands of our youth.