Community: Sherab Pemo, a divorcee and her nine-year-old son have long waited for the day.

On September 26, about 40 Tsirang dzongkhag officials came together as volunteers to construct a semi-permanent house for them.

The house is a necessity for the mother and son. About eight years ago Sherab Pemo fell ill, rendering her physically challenged. Her son was just eight months old then when her husband abandoned them.

She was referred to Thimphu hospital from Tsirang and then to Kolkata, India. In Kolkata she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent a major surgery.

“Since then I have difficulty speaking and walking,” she said adding that the disability was worse initially.

Her son is a class I student at Mendrelgang Central School. “My son needed to be carried to school last year,” she said.

The land she inherited is far from her son’s school and so she lives with her elder brother near the school. Her brother is worried that it would be difficult to accommodate the two of them in his cottage where he lives with his wife and three children.

Sherab Pemo said she is comfortable living separately with her son but is worried about coping with the daily household chores in future.

“I can cook and prepare my son for school but can’t work in the fields,” she said.

Her brother has let her construct a temporary house on his 12 decimal land nearby. The land is about five minutes away from Mendrelgang Central School.

Sherab Pemo’s case was put for kidu few years ago and since it is still under process, dzongkhag officials decided to initiate the construction.

Tsirang dzongrab, Namgay Dorji said he visited them twice and found that she genuinely needed a place to live with her son.

“We started seeking help for construction materials and volunteers, following approval from the dzongdag,” he said. “I’m thankful to all those people who helped in this initiative.”

For the construction materials, Pawan Hardware in Damphu town sponsored all the hardware materials and JD Construction sponsored cement, aggregate, sand and stones.  Tsirang’s National Council member Kamal Bahadur Gurung has volunteered to sponsor the entire electrification works.

This is the first time the dzongkhag administration has initiated a social service programme and the dzongrab said they would continue similar works for other needy people.

Meanwhile, Sherab Pemo and her son are eagerly waiting for their new home, which the volunteers have said would be completed soon. Nirmala Pokhrel, Tsirang