“In 1985, my job as a rural credit officer let me travel to the most remote places & give out loans of Nu. 80 to 1000 to people. One of the noble visions of His Majesty was to provide financial service to the rural communities. I’d set off on journeys through thick forest, icy mountains & lonely paths with a satchel full of money. In the villages, micro loans helped with the plantation of new crops. Without us, local money lenders imposed heavy interest & it took years before they could be paid off.

A childless 70 year old lady couldn’t pay a loan of nu 680. I cleared it for her, & the very next day, she moved to the Goemba to pray. Each time I visited, she came down to update me on her mani counts. She’d say that half of them are for me.
In 1990, I was transferred to S J/khar from B/thang. In the back of a truck, our family of 3 kids huddled together in the severe cold. My youngest was an infant & when we passed Senghor, we forced ourselves in the front compartment. My wife & I cried out of desperation.

In S J/khar, my role was to give compensation to people leaving the country on their will. At night, with a family at home, I’d patrol the borders with the police. We made groups & kept guards for each other from a distance. One evening, the group who left before us was ambushed & killed before our eyes. The trauma of that night will stay on for a life. After that trying time, we had to give loans to people coming in for the first resettlement projects at Bangtar.
Years later, I was in Phobjikha where every potato season, around 600 families would need loans to buy seeds & fertilizers. We’d travel to the village, & hand people their loans instead of having them travel to Wangdue for a meagre amount. The private money lenders even came charging at us for this.

At times, people were reluctant to take loans & I’d beg some of them to do so. A farmer who agreed after a long persuasion & took a small loan for a resort, went on to become a millionaire over the years. Another who started with a Nu 1000 loan, climbed his way to a successful business. This is my last year in public service & I see my life’s work in all the 203 gewogs I’ve worked in.”

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