Charity: Namgay Lhamo’s youngest son was only ten months old when her husband abandoned the family in 2012. For a mother of four, life had suddenly turned upside down.

Without a place to live in, she was forced to return to her village in Khachinang, Trashigang. Since her parents had passed away, she had to seek shelter with her relatives for almost two years until she decided to live in a ruined house that belongs to her younger sister.

For more than a year, Namgay Lhamo has been living in the ruined house with her youngest son. Made of stone and CGI sheets for roofing, the house is no different from a cow shed. In winter, the cold air easily creeps through open spaces while rainfall floods the house in summer.

Unable to feed the children, she had to enroll her eldest son as a monk. With the support from some school teachers, her second son is continuing his education at Gongthung higher secondary school as a boarder.

“My husband left us with nothing. He didn’t want the kids nor did he send any money, which he is supposed to until the kids turn 18,” she said. “I had to beg and borrow from here and there to make ends meet.”

However, there is hope for the family. In 2015, she was enrolled under His Majesty The King’s kidu programme. She receives Nu 1,200 every month as destitute allowance. Her second son is also a recipient of His Majesty The King’s Gyalpoi Tozay scheme.

Soon, His Majesty The King’s kidu office in Trashigang will also be constructing a permanent house for her. Given that she doesn’t have a stable source of income and has four children to fend for, she was chosen as a beneficiary, kidu officer Pema Norbu said.

“The house will be constructed on the land she has inherited. We have already borrowed some timber to carve out the windows and doors,” he said. “We are waiting for the approval from the Gyalpoi Zimpon’s office before we get on with the construction.”

About two weeks earlier, the kidu office also connected her existing house with electricity. A couple of civil servants donated a rice cooker and a curry cooker as well.

“It would cost about Nu 0.275 million to build the new house. But we also have about Nu 65,000 raised through a charity event for the same,” Pema Norbu said.

Meanwhile, a normally reserved and sad Namgay Lhamo is very excited about the new house.

“During my troubled times, I always prayed to the almighty and His Majesty The King. I shall never forget His Majesty’s immense support for having my prayers answered,” she said.

Tshering Wangdi | Trashigang