…couple worried about children’s education and loan repayment

Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Until Jigme, 38, met with an accident last year, his family of five led a comfortable life in their village in Zunglen in Drepong, Mongar.

Jigme and his wife worked on a farm and produced enough for their self-consumption. He worked at construction sites and sawed timber to earn income to educate his three children and to repay the loan he took out to construct a small house.

But everything changed on March 31 last year.

Jigme went to saw timber for his neighbour that day when a log rolled down and hit him. He was airlifted to the referral hospital and admitted for a month. He was then admitted to Gidagom hospital.

After four months in Gidagom hospital, he was sent home. An ambulance dropped him off at his village.

With the lower part of his body paralyzed, and his back and left hand injured, he is confined to his house, bed-ridden, most of the time.

Jigme’s wife, Tshering Lhamo, said life became difficult for her after his accident.

“I try to raise my family single-handedly, but it is difficult,” she said. “I work on the farms, but we have no money to bear his medical expenses and children’s education.”

She said she borrows money from the neighbours and works on their farm. “My biggest concern is the loan of Nu 240,000. We used to be able to make the loan repayment when he could work,” she said.

This year, Zunglen Primary School administrators bought uniforms for the children.

The principal of Zunglen Primary School, Tashi Tenzin, said the parents of the three students are in a pathetic situation after the incident, and the school was able to support the students in buying their uniforms with funding support for needy students from the Ministry of Education.

He said the school could provide boarding facilities only to the eldest son due to a lack of capacity in the dormitory. “The school is planning to provide boarding facilities for the other two in the coming academic session to help them.”

According to Tshering Lhamo, initially, their relatives and neighbours helped them when Jigme had to go to the hospital for follow-up medical care.

The couple has to keep travelling to Mongar hospital, as Jigme suffers from rashes and sores because of a prolonged rest in bed, lying in the same position. At one time, he was admitted for three months.

He is currently admitted to the hospital again and undergoing treatment. “Every time I come here in Mongar, I worry about my two children I left with my wife’s auntie,” Jigme said. “My children are suffering because of me.”

Drepong gup Sangay Tenzin said Jigme was a hardworking man but the accident made the lives of the couple difficult. “The biggest concern is the loan. We have talked with the Bhutan Development Bank Branch Manager in Mongar, but it’s not likely they will consider it.”

Edited by Tashi Dema