Karma Dechen – reflection of Bhutan’s situation, challenges and future

A month back, when His Majesty the King walked around Thimphu town and met Karma Dechen, 27, working in Café Himalaya & Bakery, she never fathomed that one day His Majesty would speak about her to the Nation, reminding the people about the country’s current situation, issues, challenges and future with her as an example.

However, His Majesty’s address on November 4, 2022, during the opening session of the Third Parliament’s 8th session began and ended with her story. And Karma Dechen did not miss His Majesty’s address.

“I was nervous but I felt fortunate to firstly have met His Majesty a month back and very fortunate that His Majesty shared my story today.” “We are lucky to have been born as the subjects of a compassionate King,” she added.

While Karma Dechen still cannot get over the fact that His Majesty shared her story to the nation, she is the “ordinary Bhutanese,” breaking her back to make a living. Her story can be looked at and interpreted from many lenses. However, the fact that His Majesty narrated her story was very clear that His Majesty is the “kiduipham.” His Majesty’s concern for Karma Dechen’s unborn child reflects that His Majesty is equally or more concerned about the country’s future.

Further, the story was also an indication that while there are people like Karma Dechen, all Bhutanese can also play our own roles in the Nation’s development and that it is not just civil servants and others who can help the country develop.

Meanwhile, Karma Dechen, 27, from Dechheling, Pemagatshel district is a daughter of farmers and married to a 25-year-old husband. She studied till class X at Chhukha High School. Unable to study further, like any other rural student, her aim to earn and support her family, brought her to the capital in 2016. She had heard that Thimphu is a career hub.

She went for several interviews and looked for opportunities. Finally, she got an opportunity to work in Café Himalaya & Bakery. She thought that the salary she would get would be sufficient for her to lead a comfortable life. Meanwhile, she married and currently has a four-year-old son. Her husband is unemployed.

Earning just about Nu 12,000 a month and renting a one-bedroom hall kitchen (1BHK) paying Nu 7,750, made her life difficult.

Sangay Rabten from Thimphu