The drayangs have been closed since March 2020
The government has decided to stop the exploitation of drayangs in the country, according to a decree of the Prime Minister yesterday.
There are 60 drayangs in the country that have been closed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Most drayangs today operate as bars because the government has not allowed the drayangs to open without reform.
The decree said the decision was made after intense research, meetings and consultations with multiple stakeholders who validated that the company was built on compromising standards and values.
The government last year developed a set of standard operating systems for drayang operations and mandated drayangs to reform if they want to operate.
The new reforms mandated a separate team of waiters and waitresses to serve customers.
He also said that artists will not perform the dual function of artist and waiter. It also imposed a dress code for the various employees, in which performers should wear appropriate national attire and perform only Bhutanese songs and dances.
When the drayangs were working, the dancers would ask customers to sponsor dances or songs, receiving a certain amount and sharing the income with the owners.
Kuensel learned that although the drayang owners agreed to the new reforms, the government decided to stop drayang operations, as their monitoring would be difficult.
“It’s time we recognized that our women working in the drayangs are the most vulnerable. They are sexually objectified and disparaged in communities because of the nature of their work, ”the decree said.
He said that many skills and entrepreneurship programs have been launched during the transformation of Covid-19 and post-pandemic and that drayang owners and employees should seize these opportunities.
“I hope everyone understands that the intention is not to deprive you all of a livelihood, but to view it as an opportunity for a lasting and meaningful commitment to income generation,” said the Prime Minister.
He called on the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources to collaborate and provide the necessary support to drayang operators and workers as they explore new avenues.
A drayang operator said he was looking forward to contacting agencies in the coming days to inquire about available services. “Verbally, so many promises were made to us about the benefits and support we would receive after the drayangs closed to change our business. “
He said each drayang would employ around 15 people, which would represent around 900 employees.
A drayang employee said she was happy with the news of the drayangs closing, as she was reluctant to ask her employer to relieve her. “I joined a drayang without any choice, but today I already have a plan to open a restaurant.”