Choki Wangmo

Kinley Dorji wanted to join de-suung desperately. He was far too young then, only 15. After several failed attempts, he decided to become a monk at Mongar Dratshang.

While in Mongar, a sharp pain from a motor accident a year ago left Kinley bedridden for six months. After convalescence, Kinley returned home to Punakha to help his mother with farm activities.

Old enough now, Kinley wanted to give one last try. Accepted, Kinley joined the 53rd accelerated de-suung training programme last year.

At 18 today, Kinley is the youngest de-suup.

The minimum age requirement to join a de-suung training is 20. Kinley’s was a special case. Kinley did not know his real age. His mother told him he was already 22. Only at the end of his training did he find out that he just turned 18. The trainers considered his case. He was a hardworking young man.

From Khawajara, Kinley volunteered for the National Day celebrations in Thimphu last year, just a month after the completion of training.

He was in the catering team and had an opportunity to meet His Majesty The King. “It was an auspicious beginning of my service; I felt so fortunate.”

For more than a month, Kinley has been working along with 20 de-suups at the megazone II office construction site in Chang Gidaphu (Kala Bazaar). He will work there for another month or two. Out of a monthly salary of Nu 9,000, he sends half of it to his mother.

He walks for more than an hour every day between Kala Bazaar and his home in Simtokha.

Kinley did not have an easy life. After his parents separated, Kinley dropped out of school. Four years ago, Kinley met a man who was left wheelchair-bound after a vehicle accident. He cared for the man and moved with him to Thimphu a year ago. “I can’t help him financially but I want to help him physically.”

Another man with the same problem recently joined them.

“I want to help people with such problems. I sought help from my mother,” he said.

An optimist, Kinley does not feel limited by qualification, age, and experience. “Most of my colleagues are high school and college graduates. However, I always try to see the good side of life. It helps.”