“I work as a deaf instructor at the Wangsel Institute. I was born in Trashigang. When I was 11 months old, I started experiencing severe ear pain. My parents took me to Monger for medical help, but they couldn’t find the cause. Eventually, I had an ear operation, but it didn’t restore my hearing. After 11 months, I became completely deaf.

I then moved to Thimphu and joined Class PP at Chagangkhan School. I was the only student who couldn’t hear anything. I struggled to understand and learn, and I even failed my exams. One day, I learned about Draktsho School, and the principal of Chagangkha School contacted my parents to inform them about Draktsho. I transferred to Draktsho and spent some time there.

After a while, I heard about the Wangsel Institute, which had started offering classes. In 2003, I joined Wangsel as a Class PP student. It was challenging because my home was far from the school, and taking care of myself was difficult. I eventually returned to Draktsho School in Thimphu.

During this time, a tourist visited our school and encouraged me and my parents to focus on academic learning instead of painting. This motivated me to return to Wangsel Institute and continue my education from Class 2.

Learning was tough, but I worked hard and dedicated myself to my studies. I studied there from 2007 to 2017, completing Class 10. While at Wangsel Institute, I would visit Thimphu during winter vacations. Communicating with my family was challenging, but I used natural gestures to communicate with them.

Gradually, my elder sister learned some deaf alphabet sign languages. In 2009, the parents of all the deaf students were invited to the institute to learn sign languages for a week. This improved communication significantly, which is the happiest moment in my life because we could now share conversations during meal time.

In 2018, I got a job, but it was challenging due to my limited skills. With the assistance of a Thai volunteer, I learned many new skills. During my summer holidays, I also went to Bangkok for two weeks of training, which further strengthened my skills. In 2020, I interviewed for a job at Wangsel Institute and was recruited on a contract basis.

It was at Wangsel Institute that I met my wife, Dechen Pem, who had also been my classmate during our school days. We fell in love and discussed our relationship with our parents. In March 2021, we officially got married and moved into our own rented house. My wife is also a deaf instructor, and we are expecting a child in January 2024.”


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