Kunhal Gurung

“I used to be a quiet kid, and I had almost no friends. Kids would come near me to yell ‘you’re weird’ or try to beat me up. I was born and raised in Phuentsholing, and many of my friends consumed drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. I wasn’t influenced by them, but growing up in such an environment, I was often covered in cuts and bruises from fist fights. I’d lie to my mom that I fell down or ran into a pole.

I became vegetarian at age 9 after seeing an animal be killed, and my BMI became underweight. I was called names like ruto, but I wasn’t discouraged. I was a sincere and hardworking student. Our 4th Druk Gyalpo is my role model and I wanted to serve the country as a loyal military officer. In class 9, my dream was to join India’s National Defence Academy. I started running 8km almost every day from the PLSS junction to CST and back. My class 10 results were great, my health improved, and my BMI was the best it’s ever been.

After class 12, I did not qualify for any government scholarships. I travelled to the RBA Headquarters in Thimphu to apply to the NDA, but I could not register as it was only for pure science students. That was the saddest moment in my life. I had worked hard all those years, and life didn’t seem fair. I got a call from Sherubtse College the next day offering enrollment as a self-financed student, which I accepted on my parents’ will.

I am now pursuing a BSc in Environmental Science. I don’t regret coming here, and I have a lot of good friends. I received a tuition fee waiver for the past 3 semesters for my good academic performance. I am a volunteer educator at VTOB’s after-school learning programme and an active volunteer at Project Draktsho. As an animal lover, I look after the hungry stray dogs here at college. I was recently selected as a resident leader as well.

Even now, my dream is to join the military or the police as an officer. I work hard every day, balancing my academics with social work and physical exercise. I want to live up to His Majesty’s aspirations. If you have a dream, no one is going to make it happen for you. Work hard. Stay committed. You’re responsible for your own life.”

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories

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