Youth help manage traffic and inspect entry of plastics

They say they receive both appreciation and abhorrence while carrying out their duties

More than 20 youths are engaged by the Phuentsholing Thromde in managing traffic and monitoring people carrying plastic bags in the border town of Phuentsholing.

Their duties begin from 6 a.m. till 2 p.m. or from 2 p.m. till 8 p.m. and they are there to support the Phuentsholing Thromde and the Royal Bhutan Police. Come rain or shine, they monitor inappropriate movement of vehicle in the town and inspect people carrying plastics at the gate, while simultaneously also creating awareness to the people on the upcoming ban on plastics from April 1 this year.

Most of these youths have just completed Class X or XII and are paid equally to the national wage rate for their service. Those who have passed Class XII earn Nu 8,500 per month, while those who have passed Class X are paid around Nu 7,500.

Kinley Zam, who has been deployed to control traffic in the town, said she is happy about what she is doing.

“We are gaining experiences which will help us in the future,” she said, adding that she is proud to minimize the burden on her parents.

For a few others like Janga Bir, a Class XII passed student, he said the responsibilities that they have been given have made them more punctual and responsible.

Janga Bir travels 10 kilometers daily from his village to reach his workplace in the town and his parents are farmers. He said he meets his demands from his earning now. “It has made me realize the value of time and money. Now I don’t depend on my parents,” he said.

Sharing their experiences to Business Bhutan, these youths say they receive both appreciation and abhorrence while carrying out their duties.

“As the work demands dealing with the public, such criticisms are always expected,” Kinga Tenzin, a youth who is placed at the entry point at the Chinese Lane said.

Kinga Tenzin and his friends check and restrict the entry of plastics and also create awareness on the ban on plastics.

 With traffic management becoming a chronic problem in the town, few youths also monitor traffic at places where the Phuentsholing Thromde has declared as ways for pedestrians. 

“People don’t understand and frown at us sometimes. That’s the only challenge. Otherwise I am happy to work,” Ngawang Zangphel, 17, said.

Three recovering youths from drugs are also engaged in this task.

  One of them, Kinley Tshering Dorji, who is now temporarily employed by the Thromde for inspection at the gate, said he is now engaged and earning too. “Life has changed a lot within a short period. Those people who have insulted and neglected us are now praising us. That’s great achievement,” he said.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing