… journey to independence is never late; it’s in the mind

Neten Dorji | Kanglung

Dorji Penjor was leading a “normal” life until seven years ago.

A road accident at Silambi in Monger one day left him disabled. The incident changed his life forever.

Dorji was 22 when the misfortune struck.

“It was a severe accident which left me paralysed, almost dead,” reminisces Dorji Penjor. “I changed into a disabled person overnight.”

Dorji found it hard to cope with the new challenges. “Soon after I became disabled, I thought about overcoming pessimism. It was very hard to gather courage.”

Being physically challenged and adjusting to a new life was very hard. “I started staying at home and cutting myself off from the outside world totally.”


Rays of hope

After the doctors at Mongar told him that there was no chance for him to recover, Dorji went to Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu.

Health officials in Thimphu told Dorji that his condition could be treated. “I was happy, of course and went ahead with the advice of the doctors in Thimphu.”

With regular exercises, Dorji’s body began to function normally again.

With the mind to do something to lead an independent life, Dorji contacted zorig chusum institutes. He was denied admission to the institutes because he did not have formal education.


Draktsho East

Then came Draktsho East. He applied to the institute and was accepted.

Things started to change when he was enrolled in Dratsho East.

His dream to open a furniture house and live independently began to come true. “I had to turn my dreams into reality. Training is hard and painful, but I know that I will succeed.”

Today, having completed the three-year vocational course in craving, Dorji lives without a trace of regret about his life.

“When you accept things, it becomes easier. I am trained in carving and I am confident in leading a good life. I am today happy just like any other person, Dorji said.

“There is no need to feel low about yourself due to your spirit and hard work.”

He said the training gave him ideas as to how to “find employment and prepare myself.”

Today, Dorji is working at Draktsho in Thimphu as a teacher. He never dreamed of becoming a teacher.

“With support from my family, teacher, and health workers, I restarted my life. I am thankful to them all,” said Dorji.