“After class 6, at 12 years of age, I dropped out of school. I was to help my family with farming at home back in Jomotsangkha. Somewhere during this time, I fell off a tree and broke my arm. Because of my broken arm, I had to stay home for two years, although I wanted to leave and do some other work. I remember the specific date that I finally got to leave home- It was December 21, 1976. I ran away because my parents expected me to only help in the fields at home and farm work was just not for me.

I first went to Phuentsholing and then to Samdrupjongkhar but coming to Thimphu was still a long way down my journey. In Samdrup Jongkhar, I worked as a carpenter for a year, but my arm did not allow me to work very well. I then asked for work from a Dasho engineer and he told me that I could work as his peon in Pemagatshel. This job of being his peon took me to Pemagatshel and then back to Samdrupjongkhar. After years of this job, I finally moved to Thimphu and worked as a peon at the PWD. In 1987 I resigned and went to work as a gardener for Drukair. At that time, my wife worked alongside me as a sweeper.

In the early 1990’s I came back to Thimphu and stayed with my friend at the police camp for about a month but shortly after went out to get a job. I was able to secure a job as a chowkidar at a workshop. While I was working at this job, my wife died. She used to drink a lot despite me telling her not to and eventually alcohol cost her life. After she died, I decided to change jobs again and it was by chance that I met someone near the bus booking at Lungtenzampa who was willing to offer me a job.

This man gave me a job as a gardener at the city office for 6 months. After that I worked as a sweeper at the same place for the following ten years. In 2008, I remarried and started working as a parking fee collector at the farmer’s market and many other places in Thimphu city. I, however, only lasted a month and 4 days in this job because I was scared of being run over among other things.

So I went to ask for another job at BOC as a sweeper. I was steady at my job once again until they told me I had to leave because I was too old. Now I work as a sweeper for private buildings, wherever they will have me. Each building owner pays me around 2000 or 2500 per month and I have to work 3 days a week or daily.

I do not have any problems working as a sweeper. I am very happy with my life. I have four kids who are all healthy and settled. My eldest son is married and is in Thimphu. The other three children are in Phuentsholing. My youngest daughter is not working because of her family obligations but my elder daughter is working.

I am healthy and I have no struggles to eat or live. I have enough money to eat from a canteen, because I feel lazy to cook by myself. I have received a fair share of land inheritance from my mother back in my village but I like my life here. I am content with how things are.”

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