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Gross National Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness: Issues facing Bhutanese youths and the challenge posed to Gross National Happiness

This is the summary that I have made for one of the paper on Gross National Happiness in Bhutan. I highly apologize the author as I am unable to remember it. I have written it long time ago but I have misplaced that paper. So, forgive me. All the credit of my work goes for the author.

GNH stands for the holistic needs of the human individual – both physical and mental well being. It reasons that while material development measures contribute, undeniably, to enhancing physical well-being, the state of mind which is perhaps, more important than the body, is not conditioned by material circumstances alone.

The quest for complete loyalty and dedication will prove to be the challenging in the absence of the homogeneous understanding of what Gross National Happiness means, and what the implications of GNH for the future of Bhutanese development.

It is also very crucial for the youths to live up to the high expectations of the government and it is important for them to ensure the continued well-being of the people and the security of the nation. However, every year Bhutan’s demographic transition results in a growing demand for jobs, which will far exceed what the current market can provide for. The problem of unemployment, which means the real number of job seekers is considerably higher than the estimated current figures if the jobs available in the market.

Another major issue facing Bhutanese youths is that their social and cultural environment is changing. There is a significant difference between the youths of today and those of the previous generations with respect to their cultural attitudes and understandings.

Another most significant is the increasing prevalence of the depression and alcohol liver diseases cases in Bhutan. Furthermore, it was reported that the majority of patients younger than age 20 who were given psychiatric treatment suffered from stress-related and anxiety disorders.

The most common youth-related crimes recorded are burglary, theft, and drug abuse. Most worrying of these is the increasing number of multiple drug users in the country. Formation of gangs, assaults in bars and discos and reckless driving are also offenses characteristically committed Bhutanese youths.

There have been many proposed policies to alleviate the youth unemployment situation in Bhutan. The first is the effort to provide specified, skill-based training pertaining to a particular industry. The Ministry of Labour and Human Resource has studied the mismatch of expectations in skill level between employers and prospective youths. So, Vocational Training Institutes are established to bridge the gap of the above problem.

The second is the effort to provide guidance for students to help them select a suitable career path for themselves. It is important to realize, however, that there is no possible way for unemployment to be completely eradicated.

So, to eradicate all sorts of problems that are faced by the Bhutanese youth, it is important that all groups of elites fervently believe in the ideals of GNH and dedicate to improve the lives of their community.


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