“Dad passed away when I was a baby. I grew up with my relatives and my sister with mum. The wage that mum earned hardly sustained us. When my sister didn’t qualify after high school, she too started working whatever job she could find. We used to live in Jaigaon. Due to the pandemic, we moved to our village in Pasakha. My sister’s lost her job and it’s been years since mum has stopped working.

After high school, I went to college on self-finance. I did some business online and saved everything to pay for my tuition fees after the first semester, for which my family paid. I’d take orders from customers in college and purchase goods from online sites. We couldn’t afford to pay for college without this, so I did it diligently. However, the pandemic brought an end to it. I was worried sick. I applied for a fee deferment. When one of my tutors found out, she helped pay my fees. I’m so grateful. My friends helped me with travel expenses when they heard about my problems. With good marks every semester, I was allowed a half tuition fee waiver in the next. During the last vacation, I stayed on campus. I worked with the librarian, cleaned hostels, and cut grass on campus. I saved the little money I made for my education. I’m glad the college gave me work when I needed it.

Family and friends are often surprised that I paid my tuition fees by doing online business. I’ve been doing this since high school. Initially, I did it for some pocket money and enjoyed it. But now, this business means a lot more to me. Others may assume that it’s easy work with little pressure. But the pandemic’s made it hard. Just like other businesses, mine has been affected too. It has put me in deep worries about paying my fees on time.
In the end, life’s a hustle of surviving through the day. Some have it easy, some don’t.”

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories #Thimphu

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