“Growing up, we were a perfect little family – a father, mother and two kids. However, everything changed one day. My parents met with a tragic accident. At the ages of 10 and 15, my brother and I were left orphaned.
Despite having many uncles and aunts on my dad and mom’s side, none stepped forward to care for us. The situation worsened when my brother succumbed to bad influences and overdosed and died. Suddenly, I found myself alone in a world.
Two uncles came forward to care for me. After completing 8th grade, they relocated me to Thimphu. Little did I know that my new family, despite their success and education, would discourage my education and exploit me for their needs.
My saving grace was the son of a family friend, who shared his lunch and pocket money during these trying times. Despite excelling in class 10, my family insisted I drop out to support them. Sent from one house to another, I juggled work and studies, facing constant sickness and humiliation.
Soon, I was hospitalised, and my guardians were nowhere to care for me. A kind doctor and school principal intervened, enabling me to appear for exams despite not meeting the required attendance. Yet, discovering that my teachers knew my story, my family unleashed their anger.
In desperation, I sought solace near a chorten after school, finding brief moments of peace amidst the turmoil. For six months, I stayed there undisturbed, with the caretaker, Agay and Angays, sharing their kindness, food and stories with me.
The older uncle eventually found out, and he apologised and brought me back home. However, the mistreatment continued, and I spent most of my time hiding in the kitchen or the toilet.
When studying became tough, a teacher took me under her care. I lived with her family, which allowed me to focus on my studies. When the exams approached, I had a newfound confidence, and my results were good. Foolishly, I returned home to share my success, hoping for appreciation. Instead, I was directed to work in my aunt’s hotel for a few months.
Hope emerged when my supportive teacher informed me about a college offering a full scholarship. Taking a leap of faith, I travelled to India all alone for the entrance exam and secured myself a spot. My parents’ friends paid for my flight ticket, and with the guidance of my teachers, I pursued my dream of studying medicine in Malaysia. I am 24 now, completing my MBBS as a general surgeon. The painful memories of my parents and sibling’s death always discouraged me from returning to Bhutan, but eventually, fate brought me back. The only plan I have now is to continue with my further studies.”

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