Karma Dechen becomes an anecdote to the nation

Karma Dechen dropped out after completing class X due to financial strain. She studied at Chhukha Higher Secondary School. Although she wanted to study further, her dreams were shattered.
She said, “I missed the chance to continue my studies because I lack of financial support to continue studying in the private schools.” 
Having lesser options as a tenth-standard dropout, Karma Dechen headed towards Thimphu, the city of opportunities for youth, looking for a job.
Karma Dechen started her job in Food and Beverage (F&B) department at Taba Hotel, in Thimphu for a few months before joining Café Himalaya and Bakery, where she met His Majesty the King of Bhutan.
For almost seven long years, Karma Dechen worked with dedication and a sense of belonging for Café Himalaya and Bakery.
Karma Dechen said, “I decided to stick around with the café because I am sure that with my education background, I will not be able to find a better-paying job.”
 “I applied for jobs now and then but I faced several rejections due to my schooling level,” said Karma Dechen.
Karma Dechen claimed that she could have had a better job if she had a better education certificate. She said, “If given a chance, I would also pursue higher education.”
Similarly, many youths in the country dream of working abroad to earn a better salary for the same job they refuse to do in Bhutan because of the pay scale and lack of dignity of labor.
Those with better qualifications and stable financial backgrounds often chose to study and earn a decent living in first-world countries such as Australia, the United States of America, Canada, and some European countries, so that they can return one day to have a secured future for their families.
Those youth with lower education qualifications like Karma Dechen are also trying to find better livelihoods in foreign lands such as gulf countries like Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and more.
Karma Dechen is no exception. She revealed that she too dreamt of moving abroad to earn a decent salary to support her family. 
However, it’s a difficult situation for her to go abroad too. She said, “Because I lack financial support even to process the official works to move abroad, and also, being a mother always leaves me in dilemma.”
Karma Dechen claimed that being a mother, particularly a working mother, and living in Thimphu add up to the sustainability challenges.
Coming from a farming background, Karma Dechen is one of the sole providers for her siblings who go to school. 
With her job paying her Nu 12,500 per month, she pays more than half of her salary as the rental bill of Nu 7,750. Thus, it requires no sophisticated rocket science to understand that she struggles to make ends. 
“With my pay, my family can hardly make it to the month’s end. So, I usually have to request advance payments.”
She said that the current salary of Nu 12,500 is huge money if she lives as a farmer in her village. 
But in Thimphu, she claims that she needs a little more than that to sustain life. She said, “I think I will be able to meet the monthly expenditure for my family with Nu 18,000. But I also realize that I can’t save a single penny to build a future for my family.”
Karma Dechen has been managing her finance wisely and is also watchful of how she spends her income.
But at the end of the day, after working long hours of back-snapping jobs, she wonders if coming to Thimphu in search of the future is just stealing her present.
Karma Dechen represents the current scenario of the country; it represents the system that we, the Bhutanese live in. 
It shows the ground reality of the employment market, the living standard, and the inflation, the pay structure, the working environment, the private employees, the youth flocking to the capital city, the nature of a working mother, the dreams of the nation and the insecurity that many feel despite living in one of the world’s happiest countries.
Karma Dechen claimed that she realized that Thimphu, the capital city of the country might be the dream city but the chances of having a nightmare are growing over time.
She said that youth like her from the far-flung remote villages need not necessarily come to Thimphu to provide a better life for their loved ones. “Youth need not come to Thimphu in search of better life or jobs to support their families. Youth have the potential to make a difference and be successful even after living in one’s hometown.”
The 8th session of the Third Parliament commenced with His Majesty’s addressing a 27- year-old waitress who struggles to make ends in Thimphu, a place of opportunities for Bhutanese.
Karma Dechen, 27, who hails from Dechencholing under Pemagatshel Dzongkhag became the heart of Bhutan’s attention when His Majesty shared her story in the winter parliament session. A story that resonated with every Bhutanese. 
His Majesty, the king addressed the social problems faced by Bhutanese through Karma Dechen’s narrative, urging necessary transformations that need to be brought in.
After two audiences with His Majesty, Karma Dechen comes to share how she came across such a precious moment and her plans.
“I came to an audience with His Majesty last month when His Majesty the king walked into the café while on his walk around Thimphu town. I was nervous but felt fortunate that I met His majesty and got to share my story with fellow Bhutanese through Our King,” said Karma Dechen.
She, along with her family, her husband, and her four-year-old son was granted an audience with Their Majesties and Their Royal Highness the Gyalseys on November 5.
“After the second audience with Their Majesties, His Majesty said I would do training either in baking or culinary,” added Karma Dechen.
She confirmed that she will most likely take up culinary training since is interested in cooking and in becoming a chef.