Karma Dechen


“A moment I’ll always cherish is meeting His Majesty in person. It was in October when we were closing our cafe for the night. When His Majesty mentioned me during the National Assembly meeting, I was taken aback. I couldn’t watch it live but a friend informed me about it. When I watched the video, my emotions were all over the place. I wanted to cry yet I felt immense happiness too. My name rang across the country and the publicity made me a little uncomfortable since I was not used to it. Regardless, everyone around me still treated me the same.

I have 6 siblings and my parents are farmers. Acho works at a workshop in Haa while one of my sisters is a salesgirl and the other two are studying. The eldest sister, however, is married. I couldn’t make it through 10th grade so I came to Thimphu hoping to get a job. My first job was at a hotel with a salary of 6000 after which I worked at a cafe. It’s now been 7 years working here. As a child, I wanted to be a teacher, but often not all dreams come true.

My husband and I met in school. We got married in 2016 after he graduated high school. I was 22 years old then and I wish I hadn’t married young. His Majesty urged everyone to be hard-working and innovative in his speech. No matter what work you do, always do it to the best of your capability and gain that independence. His Majesty told me that I would be sent for barista training. It’s been 10 years since I last visited my village, my Apa did visit me once. I do miss home but due to work, I hardly get the time to visit.

Recently I’ve been thinking of going to the Middle-east to work yet my financial circumstances make it very difficult. I’m grateful to my friends who have always stuck by my side through thick and thin. My only wish is for my son to grow up, study hard and be the person I wasn’t able to be. I hope he never has to go through what I did. The king for me is no different from a god since his compassion and kindness know no bound. His benevolent gaze is always upon us, His citizens.”

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