Bhutanese school comes to rescue of student; raises $68000 needed for transplant

Tenzin Thomey, a 14-year-old student in Bhutan, suffers from Fanconi Anemia-- a rare inherited blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure

Shraddha Nand Bhatnagar Jun 15, 2021
Bhutanese school

Tenzin Thomey, a 14-year-old student in Bhutan, suffers from Fanconi Anemia-- a rare inherited blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure. Diagnosed with the disease in 2018, his condition started deteriorating early this year. 

However, little did he know that his school and Bhutanese society would come forward for his help.

Son of a government driver, Thomey comes from Lhunte, one of the least developed districts in Bhutan. For the past five months, he has been bedridden. And, doctors advised him to go for a bone marrow transplant-- an extremely costly treatment beyond the means of the family. 

Loselling Middle Secondary School in Thimphu, where he studies when came to know about his condition, decided to do something. The school administration started crowd-fund his treatment. 

After getting approval from Bhutan’s Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, the school posted a donation request on its official Facebook page, asking people from all walks of life to contribute generously. The target was $48,000. 

However, much to everyone’s surprise, the donated amount exceeded the target within 48 hours, forcing them to close the account. They received over $68,000. 

“With the support of all Bhutanese, we could gather Nu 5M (~$68000) within two days for the cause. It means a lot. As soon as we achieved the target amount, the donation drive account has been closed,” Pema Dorji, the vice-principal of the school, was quoted as saying by the national newspaper Kuensel. 

Teachers and students have been helping the family at the hospital too. “We plan to send him as soon as possible to India for treatment. The school is also communicating with the consulate in Kolkata,” Pema Dorji said.

A joint committee has been formed, consisting of school teachers and his father, for disbursement of the fund. 

Although a poor country, Bhutanese society is an extremely caring, closed, and compassionate society as evident in this case also. For some years, there had been cases of several fake donation campaigns. 

Therefore, to retain the confidence of the society, the government had made it mandatory to seek approval before starting any fundraising request. The Department of Law and Order (DLO) under the home ministry monitors such fund-raising activities.


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