An appeal from drayang employees

I am glad that drayang owners are compensated. Of course, the drayang owner ran a business in total loss. The rental charges were also too much, and beyond our capacity to pay with the pandemic playing havoc for more than two years.  

However, while owners have been compensated the sad reality has dawned upon us as employees were never considered by the government. Today the government has agreed to compensate our owners. They are even provided monetary compensations and other business platforms. But who would like to care about us? Our only hope was, drayang owners coming together to voice out but now we don’t even have them to voice our concerns as it seems they are content with the government’s proposal.

As such our conditions remain pathetic that we are now thrown into the fire from the frying pan.

Our only hope remains that a few years or months from now, drayang girls have a glimmer of hope as the government is planning to train us and give us employment platforms. But the looming question when? We are left dumbfounded, and it actually doesn’t make sense for the government to ban an economic activity that is legal. 

Drayangs are recognized and defined as a trade-in Bhutanese laws and it’s illegal to take away a legally recognized livelihood. For that, we are still disappointed and wish that 900 of us, all drayang employees, get to have an audience with our government so that we can voice our concerns too. 

Well, let’s see how many dancers would like to become plumbers, electricians, carpenters et al. when the wage rates are low and job security a far outcry. 

Hope this shutdown won’t make our girls more desperate than ever before because you have robbed us of our only means of livelihood.

Kinley Yangdon (name changed)

A Drayang Employee