Pema Lhamo repairs broken parts of at least three vehicles a day

Chimi Dema | Dagana

Many people in Dagana did not expect to see a woman mechanic. They assumed it was a man’s job.

Pema Lhamo Sherpa, 23, however, gave them a surprise.

“I never thought I would become a mechanic,” the lone woman mechanic in Dagapela said.

The class 12 graduate from Tsendagang worked as a manager in Mongar automobiles workshops in Dagapela in 2018 but she started learning how to repair and maintain automobile parts from her male colleagues.

About four months ago, she decided to work as a mechanic.

“My interest diverted towards manual work gradually,” she said. “The workshop owner supported my decision as well.”

Her senior colleagues and co-workers, she said, have been helpful so far. “They have never undermined me.”

She said she wanted to be a teacher but the dream ended when she couldn’t qualify for further studies after completing class 12 in 2017. She stayed in the village with her father until she was employed in the workshop.

“Many feel being a mechanic is exclusively a man’s job but women can do it too. All we need is teamwork,” she said.

Today, she is skilled in repairing minor damages and broken parts of vehicles. “My goal, for now, is to know how to repair vehicle’s gearboxes and engines.”

She is paid Nu 8,000 a month, the same amount she is paid as a manager.

For the local residents, Pema is a role model for their children, especially girls.

“I tell my daughters that they can do the job too,” a civil servant said.