She was a good student, raised with morals and values by her parents like any normal teenage children are these days. But somewhere along the lines of the teenage life due to her poverty or ill fate, she got involved with a 73-year old, where she subsequently got pregnant and gave birth to twin daughter.
Everything was on track but by the time she became pregnant and eventually became a very young new mother to her twin daughters, her life hit its lowest point, juggling between motherhood, helping parents, and earning for herself and her babies.
Today, Sonam Choki sits along with some villagers near the highway of the Thimphu-Wangduephodrang selling vegetables while her mother and father babysit the two twins back home.
Talking to The Bhutanese, the father, Taw Tshering said “the amount collected selling vegetables is used for the babies expenditure like buying milk and food since breast feeding is not enough for both the babies”.
“I feel so sorry for my daughter and also for my two granddaughters, who are unable to get much attention from the mother. My daughter has to walk down to the road which is about five kilometer to sell vegetables and is able to come back only after dawn,” the father said.
The two twin daughters were born on the morning of 11 July at the national referral hospital in Thimphu (JDWNRH).
Tandin Bida, the elder twin and Tandin Wangmo the younger twins are now four months and three days old.
While all may seem to make believe that this is the story of a girl child who became a young mother, the truth is the teenaged mother of two and her family awaits judgment from the high court for which previously DNA samples of the 73 year-old man and the babies DNA were sent for testing.
While the family awaits judgment from the court, Sonam Choki struggles to raise her two twins with no help from any of the family members of the 73-year-old suspect.
Taw Tshering said “we did not want our only daughter to struggle like this, so we enrolled her to school so that one day she can become someone in her life and lead a happy life but everything is over. When I think of all this problems, it makes me feel sad but helpless.”
Forget about other people blaming Sonam Choki for whatever passed her very own elder brother had blamed the parents for not taking care of her and went to the extent of saying that he is ashamed to be her brother. (As told to the reporter by the father)
“Whatever it is but all I want is to get justice for my daughter and two innocent granddaughters,” he said.
The parents are baffled whether to continue their daughter’s education or not.
Explaining the situation Sonam Choki’s father said, if she continues her studies who will look after the babies, and moreover she does not want to pursue her studies also. “Whatever it is, the decision to study further solely depends on her,” the father said.
There were times when some people had approached the family for the adoption of the twins but the family had refused.
Sonam Choki has maintained a journal whereby she has noted down about the expenditure incurred for the babies and the daily activities carried on.
Till date 20 packets of Cerelac (baby food), 19 can of Lactogen (Baby milk powder), and three packets of Huggies were used for the two twins according to Sonam Choki’s journal.
When Sonam Choki is away selling vegetables, the two twins are bottle-fed cow milk and in a day two liter of milk is purchased for the babies. Sonam Choki works hard so that she can give comfortable lives for both the daughters.
She hopes that one day the hard work of now will pay.
A 17-year old school-going girl, Sonam Choki, was allegedly impregnated by a 73-year old man in Yusipang, Thimphu last year.
A class VII student, in one of the schools in the capital, until, 5 June, the parents had not known that their daughter was pregnant but after she complained of swollen legs the family took her to the hospital for a check-up where it was confirmed that she was six months pregnant.
An ultrasound confirmed that she was carrying twins.
The name of the father was not revealed until her parents forced Sonam Choki. The father was no other than the 73-year old Bapula, who lived just few meters away from their house in Yusipang.
It was learnt that she was lured by the suspect and was occasionally given money. The suspect is from Yusipang under Chang gewog, Thimphu.
The victim is the only daughter of the family and they live in a one room apartment in Yusipang. They are from Trashigang, Radi. The father of the girl is an orchard caretaker and has been working for last 14-years.
A formal complaint was lodged with the Woman and Child Protection Unit (WCPU) of Thimphu police and later the case was forwarded to the Thimphu district court on 5 July. The suspect was charged with rape of a minor above 12-years-old.
The blood sample of the suspect, victim and of the two twins daughter were sent to Genetech Lab, Sri Lanka for DNA test on the request of the suspect by the JDWNRH 31 July. For each sample the suspect had to pay US$ 45.
The report was received on 25 October and based on it the judgment will be passed by the court. Almost after more than three months of waiting, Thimphu district court has received the DNA report of 73-year old, Bapula, the two twins and the 17 year-old Sonam Choki.
While the suspect is still detained with the Thimphu police station, 17 year- old Sonam Choki struggles with her two twins back home in Yusipang, Thimphu.