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Turning dark into light

Profile: Lemo, 42, lives in a single-storey house below the road to Enducholing Dzong, located a few meters above the Trongsa-Zhemgang highway in Langthel, Trongsa.

Lemo is vision-impaired and her husband looks after her. She has five children of which four also have vision-impairment. Like Lemo, they were born with the condition.

Lemo underwent eye surgery in Bumthang in 2004 but it did not help her. But she could still walk back then.

Lemo’s legs were paralysed in 2010.

Life is tough for Lemo. “I can’t cook or even help myself serving,” she says. “I have to pull my body to the toilet outside and my clothes get muddy and dirty especially when it rains,” she adds.

Lemo also has to wait for her husband to return from farm work for lunch. She has gotten used to not eating lunch. Her children are at school.

Lemo wears an audio digital watch. This helps her keep track of time.

Lemo spends most of the time listening to radio programmes. She likes to participate and even participated in a call-in show once. “I got someone to help me in dialling the number and sang Tsamngmo for the radio,” she says.

Lemo and her family lived in a hut and were taken care of by the Tarayana Foundation, until His Majesty The King granted the family a house as kidu in 2009.

She received Nu 500 a month from Tarayana then, and today she receives Nu 1,200 from His Majesty’s Office. “The kidu from His Majesty makes me feel happy and I live comfortably even though I can’t see,” she says.

She has three sisters and one brother. Her siblings visit her when she is alone at home.

Lemo appreciates her husband for being good to her. She said her husband was never harsh to her and that he cracks jokes most of the time to get her to laugh and be happy. “I thank god for bringing him into my life,” she says.

One of her sons is employed in Thimphu while the youngest son is studying in Thailand under His Majesty The King’s kidu. Her eldest, a daughter, did not qualify for further studies and has left home. One of her sons who has no visual-impairment is studying in a school in Trongsa.

Her son, Ugyen Doji, 21, who will soon join Sherubtse College says he worries about his mother when everyone is away. “I hope her life will become more comfortable as her sister is at home now,” he says.

Nima Wangdi | Langthel

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