Jigme Palden circumambulating dochhula chortens on his new Wheelchair

Spirit of a broken man

Jigme Pelden, 36, who once contemplated suicide after all the pain he went through in life, is now a happy responsible father who earns for the welfare of his children, and also writes about his life.

Jigme, originally from Goenpakarp under Lhuentse, was painting a four-storey building in Phuntsholing when he fell off and damaged his spinal cord in 2010. His legs are paralyzed, and today he is found sitting on a wheelchair at the patient’s guest house in Thimphu.

He was treated at Kolkotta hospital in India, but still suffers from back pains. Jigme has a four-year-old daughter whose mother abandoned them after the tragic incident. The daughter was then taken care of by his aunt.

It was then that Jigme contemplated on suicide. “My mind was at ease after having handed over my daughter to my aunt. I even thought of committing suicide. Each day, I thought the best was to commit suicide, which I later realized was a wrong and not the answer to the problem.”

He was lucky to have met a benefactor figure in Lhamu Dukpa, a Bhutanese film actress, singer and producer, and also an executive member of the Bhutan Kidney Foundation whom he considers as his core supporter and donor.

He said Lhamu Dukpa taught him on the importance of one’s life and how wrong it is to commit suicide.

Jigme is glad he uses a wheelchair worth USD 800, donated by a foreigner. “It’s like giving me a new pair of legs,” he said.

He is working hard to contribute some amount towards the construction of the new Zangdopelri (monastery) which will be underway by next year in Lhuntse.

Jigme does embroidery works on women’s rachu, which he earns him Nu 3,000 to 4,000 per rachu. He manages to deposit Nu 500 every month for his daughter.

He said his desire for material wealth has perished after the accident, but plans on living with no regrets despite knowing the fact that he will never be able to walk again.

Currently, Jigme is writing his own biography, a description of his life from the age of 6 to 35. He has been on it since the last two months and has written 58 pages as of now.

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