There is much hope, quality and maturity in our young people today. It is a resounding assurance of a brighter future for Bhutan. The priority and attention given to the education sector is bearing fruits after all.

The unwavering love and guidance of our beloved Monarchs past and present to the youth and placing them at the centre of our development is the cornerstone of successful youth development.  In fact, many parents would not have given the kind of guidance and care to their children like our Druk Gyalpos have.

The recent national school athletic meet and the golden youth award held in the capital are testimony to our progressive youth. Records were broken at the meet. The talents, confidence, skills that the 80 participants showcased at the closing ceremony of the 9th Golden Youth Award held at Nazhoen Pelri in Thimphu gave audience satisfaction and made us all proud.

Further, the deep spirituality and humbleness of our youth, which often goes unnoticed, may merit considerable appreciation by all. Our sacred and holy sites and temples are crowded with young people during the weekends and auspicious days. Of course, during exam times, they frequent for a few extra marks.

And yet once-in-awhile stray cases tarnish the general image of our youth overshadowing all the excellent qualities they possess. Often generalisation and assumptions have plagued our society, distancing self and others from the truth.

Our youth population, aged 15 to 24 years, is 146,021. It is a sizable number given our population. And so, the number of problem youth is really very miniscule.

His Majesty The King in his 2013 National Day address said: “As stewards of wellbeing of future generations, we must similarly leave a worthy legacy. I appeal to the current generation to renew your pledge to create a better future for our children and their children.”

The society must acknowledge and encourage the effort, growth, character, feelings and cooperation of our young people. This will translate into positive feelings, a sense of self-worth and confidence, which will go a long way in fulfilling the noble wishes of our King.

Our youth need encouragement, not disbelief.