The Youngest Minister of Bhutan

A young leader of Bhutan emerged from Thrimshยญing, Trashigang at the age of 32. Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji is now considered to be the youngest minister of the country. He said, โ€œIt is a huge responsibility that I am shouldering at this age. I will give my best and strive to live up to the exยญpectations of the people.โ€ He said that he feels happy and privileged.

Lyonpo Ugeyn Dorji was born as a son of farmer in remote Thrimshing. He grew up herding cattle, walking barefoot and sleepยญing in cattle sheds. Neverยญtheless, on November 7, he achieved a huge milestone of his life by becoming the newly appointed minister of Labour and Human Reยญsources. He said, โ€œI feel itโ€™s through grit, determinaยญtion, and some amount of luck that I managed to rise above the circumstances of my birth.โ€

Lyonpo graduated from Sherubtse College with a Bachelorโ€™s degree in Dzongkha and English. He also pursued Masters in public policy at Lee Kuan Yew School, Singapore. He served as a Desk Officer in SAARC and other regional organizations in foreign ministry. He worked as a reยญsearch assistant at Institute of water policy and served as a reporter in Bhutan Toยญday.

His primary schooling days started when the govยญernment opened a primary school in his village durยญing the time when the naยญtion prioritized education to its people. Such policies implemented by the govยญernment made him underยญstand how important and effective they are, to imยญprove the lives of the less fortunate people.

As a child, he wanted to be a hermit because he beยญlieved that he would fulfill his pursuit of happiness in being one amid his poverty and sufferings. However, with the establishment of democracy in 2008, โ€œIt gave me a new meaning โ€“ here was the alternative pathยญway to finding happiness for not only myself but also hundreds of thousands of people around me,โ€ said the minister.

In 2011, he gave up beยญing a reporter and joined politics to stand for the loยญcal government election. However, he lost to his unยญcle. He then pushed himยญself in the next couple of years and sat for the Royal Civil Service Examination. After topping the examinaยญtion, he worked in foreign ministry until he resigned, giving up a good foreign posting to race for the new government election. He said, โ€œI wanted to make a difference in our society. Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa approached me to join poliยญtics โ€“ that is how I got into politics.โ€

Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji said โ€œMy plans are not difยญferent from my partyโ€™s plan.โ€ Thereby, fulfilling the pledges made by the government is from where he will start working. The government has pledged to establish an employment and livelihood corporations with goals to strategically counter and achieve the reduction of the countryโ€™s unemployment issue. The ministry will support priยญvate sectors to create 5,000 jobs annually to achieve full employment and also increase the daily wage to Nu. 450. The governยญment plans to reintroduce one year national service program for the graduates to gain experience, learn about the national issues and plan career.

Lyonpo likes to spend time reading, thinking and writing. He said that he is an optimist. He is quite resolute and committed in achieving his goals once he is convinced of its worยญthiness. He wishes happiยญness to the people of the country. He is a person who is devoted and faithful to the Tsa- Wa-Sum. He said, โ€œI will serve with courage, determination and loyalty.โ€


By Kinley Wangchuk

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