Singaporean Woman Helps a Leprosy Couple

Email

A Singaporean woman helped renovate their one storied dwelling and provided the family with mattresses and rations to last a few months. Jean, a speech therapist from Singapore who is their benefactor, said that she decided to help after learning about the plight of the family.

A couple with leprosy gets help from a Singaporean woman. (Source: thebhutanese.bt)

Concern about their children’s education

How they will educate their two children after they complete grade 10 is the main concern of Dorji and Ugyen Yangzom, a leper couple living within the Gidagom Leprosy hospital campus, about 25 km from Thimphu.

Their son Ugyen Phuntsho, 11, is in class IV and daughter Sangay Zangmo, 7, is in class I in Bjimina Primary School.

“If they do not qualify for government school after class X then both may suffer like us,” said the mother, Ugyen Yangzom, 35, from Drametse, Mongar. Her husband Dorji, 60, from Sisina, Paro, works as the hospital’s gardener for Nu 7,000 a month.

Background of the Leprosy couple

Ugyen said that she got leprosy at 15 while her husband got infected at 35. Ugyen is a double amputee and she uses prosthetics legs. “I lost my legs 10 years ago due to the disease,” she said. As a result of late treatment her fingers also got deformed which is why she cannot do any heavy work. Dorji, her husband, is partially paralyzed on his right hand and leg and he stutters a lot so she speaks on behalf of the family.

Since the family lives in the hospital campus, they do not have to pay rent and electricity bills. Ugyen said that there are a few local people who help the family with money and school uniforms for the children.

Help from a Singaporean woman

A Singaporean woman helped renovate their one storied dwelling and provided the family with mattresses and rations to last a few months. Jean, a speech therapist from Singapore who is their benefactor, said that she decided to help after learning about the plight of the family.

She came to Bhutan as a tourist in 2015. Since then she started visiting Bhutan frequently to conduct workshops to parents and ECCD facilitators on how to deal with disabled people.

“I have helped a few people who are really in need by myself. Some of my friends in Singapore know about my frequent visits to Bhutan which is why they wanted to donate to the needy families whereby this time, we have chosen the leprosy couple in Gidagom,” she said.

Jean emphasised that their priority is to help the children with education although their parents are still working. “We did not give the family money; instead we have given a transformation to the house and some necessities. We don’t want to spoil or we don’t want them to rely on us by promising too much. We cannot be certain how long we will pay them or help them,” she said.

“We told them that if they are not going to keep up with their cleanliness or if the children are not going to study then we are not going to help them anymore.” Gardener Dorji has reached retirement age but on request the hospital has extended his term of stay.

 

By Damchoe Pem (This article has been edited for the Daily Bhutan)

This article first appeared on The Bhutanese.


Related Posts

Emphasis on Gross National Happiness at the Singapore Summit 2017

As one of the esteemed speakers invited, Prime Minister H.E. Dasho Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan gave an enlightening...

Oct 08, 2017 12:31

JDWNRH to be function as autonomous hospital

JDWNRH would function as an autonomous hospital governed by a board.

Aug 06, 2017 18:35

Health and Happiness campaign embarks for a drugs free Bhutan

The advocacy program to create awareness to reduce drug and alcohol abuse and illicit trafficking of psychoactive...

Aug 10, 2017 10:00

Homestays Gaining Popularity With Tourists Seeking To Experience...

Villagers were provided with grants to help them develop homestay facilities such as indoor plumbing.

Nov 18, 2019 21:58

Global Happiness Alliance Aims To Spread Concept Of Gross...

The alliance seeks to enhance the understanding of GNH as a concept and to spread it all around the world.

Nov 08, 2019 23:08

Zoedue – Fermented Cheese Made By The Brokpas Of Sakteng Sees...

Zoedue has become a lucrative business in Sakteng ever since motor-road accessibility improved.

Nov 05, 2019 23:48

Latest

News

Dumtseg Lhakhang Restored To Its Former Glory By Her Majesty The Royal Grandmother Of Bhutan

Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother graced the consecration ceremony of the renovated Lhakhang on 15 November.

Nov 17, 2019 16:28

Remembering His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s Legacies On His 64th Birthday

During His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s 34 year reign, he has implemented many landmark policies.

Nov 12, 2019 20:28

Features

Homestays Gaining Popularity With Tourists Seeking To Experience Authentic Bhutanese Lifestyle, Food And Culture

Villagers were provided with grants to help them develop homestay facilities such as indoor plumbing.

Nov 18, 2019 21:58

Global Happiness Alliance Aims To Spread Concept Of Gross National Happiness Worldwide

The alliance seeks to enhance the understanding of GNH as a concept and to spread it all around the world.

Nov 08, 2019 23:08

Sports

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Tour Of The Dragon – Toughest One Day Bike Race Starts On 7 September In Bhutan

It takes sheer toil and stamina for the top riders to complete the 268 km race which finishes at the capital, Thimphu.

Sep 06, 2019 23:58

Business

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Kinley Rabgyel Of Goximbo

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Nov 20, 2019 23:58

Gakyed Gatoen - Festival of Happiness Seeks To Promote Bhutan’s Products

The idea of the festival was to enable tourists and Bhutanese to learn about the traditional cottage industry.

Nov 01, 2019 23:28

Travel

Bhutan’s Black-Necked Crane Festival Drawing More Foreign Tourists

Some 500 tourists from around the world came to Bhutan to see the Black-Necked Crane festival, exceeding the number of locals.

Nov 14, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Bird Festival Set Bird Watching Haven Of Zhemgang Abuzz

Zhemgang is home to more than 500 species of birds, which is an area much sought after by bird watchers from around the world.

Nov 13, 2019 12:48

Lifestyle

Bhutanese Textiles To Be Exhibited In Paris Trade Fair 2020

The exhibition is an initiative of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project.

Nov 10, 2019 12:48

Launch Of Karen Greenspan’s Footfalls From The Land Of Happiness: A journey Into The Dances Of Bhutan

The book delves into familiar subjects that are what continues to shape Bhutan’s image.

Oct 05, 2019 10:18

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!