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Other ways of Serving

Nobody seemed to mind the rain in the face of a heated football tournament. But outside the PSA football field, near the RICBL office and Anaconda building, where the road diverges into four, a group of youth wearing yellow jerseys on top of their clothes attends to a heavy traffic. On the first sight, someone would mistake them for a group of footballers going out for a practice. But they are them – a group of students who volunteered to act ‘police’ during their leisure hours. What a commendable job!

I was really touched when I first saw on BBS TV a group of students marching with a few policemen in the streets of Thimphu. What a wonderful way to teach students the country’s rules and regulations! What a magnificent way to create awareness amongst schools, friends and peers! What a noble idea to promote an informed society!

Apparently these children seemed to enjoy what they were doing – mostly directing the traffic and going around the city in search of offenders, if any. It seemed even these children’s parents think it is for the good of the community that their children have volunteered to carry out this project. I think we all should appreciate the efforts these children are putting in and their times wasted.

But think again. Do we really need youth to help our police? If everyone is careful and be sensible enough, do we need a bunch of teenagers to tell us what is right and what isn’t? If children are taught well founded values and given good education, will they still be burden to the society? I am asking so many questions here knowing that I may not receive any answers. Because these are some of the issues we have so conveniently neglected.

Personally, I think a student can contribute to the society if he/she does well in school and not necessarily how well he/she is good at patrolling the streets. So much time is wasted like that. In Bhutan education is free, no doubt, but competition isn’t getting easier anymore. If these students, instead of being in the streets (I understand and respect their noble work), go straight home and concentrate on their studies, how much more will they achieve in life? How far would a volunteer’s certificate take him/her in life? In today’s scenario, there is no other satisfaction than pleasing one’s parents with colorful results. Qualifying for the next higher grades is crucial. And one board exam will write their entire fate.

Society is a collection of people. There are good people and there are also bad people. And as society grows more complicated, problems are bound to emerge. But missing the bus to higher studies or not making into the cut off percentage in class 10 becomes a personal issue now. There is a saying in Bhutan that says: Bu cho sa aai gygi mi phen, roughly translated as when the son undergoes difficult situations, the mother is helpless. I understand these students are working for a good cause - making our streets safer, but will we in turn be able to help those ‘youth police’ who miss the busses in the end?

“The best way to raise positive children in a negative world is to have positive parents who love them unconditionally and serve as excellent role models.”

- Zig Ziglar, an American author and a motivational speaker


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