Charity: Ap Zhokpo, 64, looks by much older than he is. From Yabrang in Trashigang, Ap Zhokpo can barely walk, even with the help of his walking stick.
Life has not been fair to him, thinks Ap Zhokpo. Having lived in a rundown house over a decade with his eight daughters, he understands how unfortunate he has been all his life.
“We used to stay in a shed made out of tarpaulin sheets and then started building a hut later,” he says. “It was not easy living in that dilapidated hut.”
Recently, the Rangjung Autonomous Higher Secondary School’s (RAHSS) Charity Club constructed a small house for Ap Zhokpo, dedicating the project to the celebration of the 60th birth anniversary of The Fourth King.
Comprising of 25 members, the Charity Club with support from Freelance Information and Share Center (FISC), donated cash and kind to several schools in Trashigang.
Advisor of the Charity Club, Yeshi Dorji, said that the approximately Nu 0.2M project has been amassed for beneficiaries like Ap Zhokpo in Trashigang.
“His only means of survival being Tsazo (bamboo craft), the widower has nothing to make a living for his family,” Yeshi Dorji said. “They were also exposed to natural elements because of rotting roofing and walls.“
After Ap Zhokpo’s wife died about four years ago, only two daughters live with him today, Yeshey Dorji said. Three daughters left to work as babysitters and his relatives took the others.
“Together with contributions from the business community of Rangjung, school administration and the FISC, we managed to build a decent house for him,” said Yeshey Dorji.
Members of the Charity Club and other students committed their weekend times for the past two months to construct the house. The gewog administration of Phongmey also supported the project.
Principal of RAHSS, Tashi Namgyel, said the house is a part of projects undertaken by the school to celebrate the 60th birth anniversary.
“We reminded Ap Zhokpo that the house is like a gift from The Fourth King. Had it not been for the 60th birth anniversary celebration, our Charity Club wouldn’t have been able to take up the project,” he said.
RAHSS’s too has a project to help two ‘needy students’ until they graduate from the school. The schools will also construct a statue of the Goddess of Offering, Choepai Lhamo inside the school campus.
Ap Zhokpo has already started shifting some of his household items to his new house.
“Now, I don’t have to worry about anything. I don’t have to sleep outside in the cold anymore,” said Ap Zhokpo.
Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang