UN and allied Agencies in Bhutan meet the national media people.
Perhaps for the 1st time, since the establishment of UN and other International offices in Thimphu, a get-to-know gathering over a lunch was hosted by UN Resident Representative at UNDP Complex. The different Agencies gave brief overview of their activities to the gathered Bhutanese print, radio and TV media people. A calendar of activities from now to December end was displayed and objectives explained.
Over the years the UN and its allied Agencies have been Partners in the socio-economic development of Bhutan. And they have also sought to bring about changes in the social and political understandings to various Bhutanese ways of life and also involved in social issues such as; gender equality; child rights; domestic violence etc. Then there are other fields of cooperation in such areas as in human resource development and safe drinking water etc.
In terms of social issues concepts, the policy makers of the nation need to pay extreme attention to our style of vibrant social structure of extended families and village communities. Over the many generations of life in Bhutan, a social mechanism has evolved to sustain individual right to exist and make possible for any Bhutanese to enjoy a normal life in spite of all the myriad changes in one’s social status i.e. single, married or divorced, young or old , healthy or crippled. Therefore, hurried application of foreign Agency developed solutions be it in the matter of much scrutinized issue of domestic violence, child labour, gender imbalances, may lead to erosion of the time tested social fabric binding and healing processes and leave the so called social patients on the operation table with half open wound susceptible to further infections. Even then the need for appropriate measures to improve upon existing frame of healing process is genuine and one wishes the best for the efforts in process.
It may be mythically appropriate and philosophically well wishing to accept that all human beings are born free and therefore ultimately all nations must gear their policies to attain such goals.
However, the reality is far less glorifying. A baby is born not of its choice. And being let free in a world of famine, war, natural calamities and worse with HIV infection from the womb makes the gong of born free a fire alarm bell.
The efforts to make life easier for so many disadvantaged or under privileged sections of the society are genuine and applaudable but approaching a task with realism enhances effectiveness. Born free is wishful thinking because every soul seems to be shackled by some kind of chains from birth. Likewise every nation has its own shackles and strengths and these must be exhaustively analyzed and appropriately appreciated instead of being brushed aside for alien solution to national problem.