Youth Matters (Call for Writers for the 4th Issue of the Druk Journal)

The future of Bhutan lies in the hands of the Bhutanese youth. Does it? At a recent Druk Journal Conversation one participant argued that the future is decided by today’s leaders who make decisions that decide the future. And youth have no say in these decisions.

However, the fact remains that today’s youth will be the active citizens of tomorrow’s Bhutan. How they will live, how society will function, and how Bhutan will grow depends much on how they are shaped by today’s socio economic, cultural and political environment.

So how are Bhutanese youth being nurtured and brought up? What kind of education and other forms of learning are they being exposed to? What are the values that are being nurtured in today’s children? What are their dreams and aspirations? Who are their role models? What are their problems?

The fourth issue of the Druk Journal will explore these questions for Bhutanese society – leaders, thinkers, policy makers, civil society, media, youth themselves – to get a deeper insight into the situation of today’s youth. On the premise that we do have youth “issues” that are of concern to all of us, we see the need to understand the experience of Bhutanese youth in a rapidly changing society. And we need to know what all of us must do to ensure that we indeed leave Bhutan in the hands of a generation of productive and capable citizens.

The objective of this issue is to initiate and encourage a high level discourse that will provide Bhutanese decisions makers, parents and teachers, youth, and society as a whole with a deeper understanding of the situation of Bhutanese youth. We will look at the situation, analytically, from different angles, their causes and conditions, going beyond facts and figures and symptoms.

This is a mandate that stems from a Royal Command of His Majesty the King to young Bhutanese: “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… Now as you are about to shoulder greater responsibilities in life, I want you to love your country in the most intelligent manner. It is one thing to love your country, it is quite another to love it intelligently.”

Contents of the issue:

  1. The first article will outline the overall theme and provide a perspective for all articles
  1. Bhutan’s national policies on youth – education, health, employment, etc. to understand our vision for youth. Do we or do we not have a coherent vision for our youth? What is missing?
  1. Actual situation of youth: problems and challenges and facilities.
  1. How the socio cultural environment shapes the mindset of Bhutanese youth. What are their attitudes and outlook?
  1. The confused world of youth
  1. Recreation facilities for youth? Looking at the limited healthy recreation facilities and the numerous bars and snooker rooms and drayangs. What do youth do?
  1. Aspirations and dreams of youth? What do youth value?
  1. Youth and politics: children’s parliament, ECB awareness activities, Youth political party wings.
  1. Parental/teacher roles – how much time do parents give their children?
  1. Youth and ICT – the changing role of status of youth who are far more ICT savvy.
  1. Youth and Social Media
  1. Employment and unemployment
  1. Young monastics.
  1. What different youth organizations (formal and informal) are doing
  1. A voice from Bhutanese youth overseas
  1. Youth elsewhere – One article from Sikkim/Nepal/Tibet/Korea/Mongolia/US?
  2. Interviews with A “successful” youth and A “struggling” youth.

We also ask writers to keep some of the following points in mind and weave them into their stories:

  • Rural-urban migration i.e. the consequences to rural societies and the elderly
  • Generation Gap
  • Changing values
  • No opportunity for youth to express themselves
  • No critical thinking encouraged
  • Role models and examples
  • Are youth being over-educated?
  • Gender – traditional sports being male dominated
  • School concerts – extra curricular activities and facilities
  • How are youth expressing themselves today?
  • Youth in filmmaking
  • Psychological wellbeing (the GNH domain) and the suicide “epidemic”
  • Youth and sexuality – relations to STD/HIV and teenage pregnancies
  • The impact of lifestyle of youth on society: life style diseases, rootlessness, change in family values
  • The economy of youth: what do they cost, what do they contribute?
  • Youth and CSO’s

Interested writers are requested to contact Druk Journal Editor Kinley Dorji (17110456 or, or Editorial Coordinator Tashi Choden (17117248 or before October 10, 2016 to discuss ideas and proposals.

The Druk Journal seeks articles in the range of 1500-3000 words that are written in a style balancing the academic and journalistic approach i.e. well researched, analytical, offer solutions where applicable, without heavy bibliographies/references. A first draft of the articles will be due by November 14, and following revisions as needed (feedback/edits will be provided), the final draft will be due by November 26.