Father’s dedication beyond duty

Today is Father’s Day, a day to honour fathers, fatherhood, parental bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. This story is about a father who, despite all odds and hardships, is doing everything he can to fulfil his responsibilities. He even carries his baby while at work.

It is eight in the morning. 21-year-old Tshewang Tamang is getting ready for his shift, which begins at nine. His wife, Sonam Deki, is also 21.

Family problems prevented Tshewang from continuing his education beyond class eight.

Like many others from across the country, the man from Tsirang came to the capital hoping to make a living.

It is here that Tshewang met Sonam. The young couple now has a one-year-old baby boy.

Tshewang works as a parking fee collector, and Sonam is a security guard at the Bhutan Development Bank Limited.

Since Sonam cannot take their baby to work, Tshewang takes care of their one-year-old son, Sonam Nima Yoezer, during the day.

“I carry my baby while I work because there is no one else to look after him. Both my wife and I have to work, and her job does not allow her to bring our baby. That is why I take him with me to work,” said Tshewang Tamang.

Tshewang’s shift ends at 5 PM, but he continues working part-time as a parking fee collector at another location.

Since his wife’s maternity leave ended, Tshewang has been carrying their baby at work for the past six months.

Despite the blessing of their son, they faced more financial challenges. Determined, Tshewang says he is equally responsible for taking care of their son.

“It is difficult working while carrying my child on my back, but what can I do? It is a father’s responsibility, so I have to do it.”

Tshewang’s story caught people’s attention when a recent video of him carrying his baby while collecting parking fees went viral on social media.

Many viewers were overjoyed to see the bond between the father and son.

Freelance videographer Sherub Gyeltshen who captured the moments said viewers messaged him, offering to support the family financially.

“I passed by the Craft Market and saw a father carrying his child while working in the sun, which made me sympathize with him. This is why I made the video. That night, I uploaded the video, and people sent likes, comments, and shares. People commented, asking if they could form a group and donate. That is why I created a WhatsApp group, and many people joined.”

The WhatsApp group helped raise over Nu 200,000 for the family. A fixed deposit of Nu 150,000 has also been opened in the baby’s name.

Thanks to the effective use of social media, baby Sonam Nima Yoezer will now attend daycare at a private Early Childhood and Development Centre in Pamtsho.

Members of the Bhutan Childhood Education and Development Association came together to provide a scholarship, ensuring Sonam Nima Yoezer can stay in daycare until he turns five.

Starting tomorrow, Tshewang and Sonam will resume work without worrying about their baby facing the elements of the sun and rain.

Tshewang’s story is a testimony to the reality that amid struggles, there is also community, support, and hope.

Sangay Chozom

Edited by Sherub Dorji 

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