Posted by Namgay Dhendup on Nov 5, 2011 in Governance | 6 comments
Is Bhutan winning the long-term battle in curbing rural-urban migration?
Rural-urban migration is a global phenomenon. And despite good intentions, Bhutan continues to struggle with keeping educate youth back in rural areas. There are several notable initiatives including posting graduates in rural areas. But each time a new town comes up, we see young people flocking into the space in search of jobs.
Media in Bhutan could help by covering more stories on the challenges of urbanisation, the cost of living in towns, and to paint a more realistic picture of the difficulties of living in urban towns, esp. Thimphu and Phuentsholing. The “glamour” of the capital ( as covered in media) is only one side of the story.
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I strongly feel that before raising the issue on rural-urban migration, we should think is rural-urban migration really happening in Dzongkhags other than Thimphu and Phuntsholing?
What I personally found out is that most of the Dzongkhags doesnot really contribute in rural-urban migration problem. If I recount an example, people in Punakha district barely migrates to its urban centre, Khuruthang. Rather people directly jumps to national urban hubs like Thimphu and P/ling. This finding reaveals why our capital city is cramped with people, and the towns like Khuruthang remained stagnant for so long.
In our country the migration usually takes place from rural areas to Thimphu and P/ling. Therefore, we should say “Rural-Thimphu migration”.
So to curb this problem, besides developing rural areas we also need to develop district and Dungkhag level towns. The distribution of develpoment should be uniform throughout the 20 dzongkhags. Why some of the avoidable institutions like IT parks, colleges, education centres, organizations etc all cramped in Thimphu? The rural-urban migration immensely widens the gap between rich and poor people. Therefore, handicapping the GNH value of sustainable and equitable development. This problem will take it roots as long as hypocritical act of our leaders exist.
Since it is becoming more pressing issue for the Bhutan government, what measure is likely to solve this problem.
problem in urban is no exception but what about the village becoming hunted with many house but no people living, what should government do to tackle the problems.
maybe it is time for us to think more precisely and act intelligently
rural urban migration is not something new in our country. Infact civilization itself is an outcome of such migrations. Its in human nature to always move were the grass is greener. so we cant blame those people if they want to move to the other side. The logic here is, we go on developing the rural areas and at the same time more is being done in the urban areas too. so the urban areas will always be more attractive and this process shall continue.
Is it an idea then, to move some of the government offices into other districts? e.g. to Paro, or Punakha and Wangdi? This will help spread the civil servant population and along with that, all the other benefits, like creating more business opportunities, spur development and provision of services.
Yeah, impact is made i.e. these event is actually happening for true. Inequality between these two domains of rural and urban will remain. But life can be comparatively looked into through a different way. We want improvements, total alleviation would not be possible. Let’s bring it, even if it is small, than worsening it further.
Problem, seeming rooted in us, is ‘we are taking things by the face value’. We are expecting much at urban areas and that is the kingpin for the move. We learn at school but youths are still about the urban streets, whether or not their expectation is met. The latter actually spoils the state more. Surely, healthy society can transform this situation. All stakeholders need to take responsibility and work in sync.
A wrinkled vegetables in urban won’t be better than the healthy ones in rural. Staple modern amenities and services if fixed in rural areas, situation would improve i hope.
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