Tsultrim Sangmo Lama
Tsultrim Sangmo was born at Nubri village in Gorkha. Her village is a day drive and 5 days of hike from Kathmandu. There was neither school nor health post in her village. Life was hard. For a brilliant girl with lots of dreams, being confined to the rural village was not an option. So, she was sent to Kathmandu by her parents at the small age of 7. She then started studying at a nun school in Pharping. Everything was going well; she was paving a way with her hard work and dedication. She was chasing her dreams. But, it didn’t last long. After she completed her Grade 8 finals, there was some problem in the nun school, which meant she could not continue her studies in the nun school.
She looked for alternatives to leaving her new home to move away to the big city. Initially it was hard. She could only think of working as a domestic worker and joining an open school to complete her studies and earning livelihood by herself. Fortunately she came across a woman (Tsultrim Sangmo likes to call her aunt) who decided to take care of her like her own daughter. But her aunt was not able to bear the costs of education as well as supporting her. Luckily they approached our partner school, Shikharapur who then contacted Rukmini Foundation. Even though our formal scholarship program was over, she was selected as a scholar so that she could continue her education.
Tsultrim and her Aunt meeting with Rukmini Staffs
Tsultrim with her class mates
Despite leaving a nun school and joining a school with totally different environment, she decided to keep up with her values. She says, “I still meditate, do prayers and follow teachings of Lord Buddha. While other friends wear school uniform, I wear nun dress and I’m okay with it.” “We should never forget where we come from.” she added.
In her small age, she has taught us a lesson to never forget our values and core beliefs. We can imagine what impact she will create as she grows up and learns more.
She shares, “I used to be an introvert. I was shy to talk to people. The teachers and friends motivated me to participate in extracurricular activities. Now, I can communicate to everyone easily. I participate in all programs. I even talk in front of crowd and sing a song for them.”
She has been participating in all of the foundation activities like the “Didi program” held on a monthly basis, which had games and songs. Participating in various programs helped her boost her confidence level. Her teachers and friends were always supportive which helped her adapt to the new surroundings. At school, her favorite subjects include science, math and English language. In future she wants to become a nurse and give back to the community she grew up in. She likes nursing also because she loves to connect with people, take care of people and make friends with them.
The members of Rukmini Foundation frequently visit Shikharapur to keep track of her performance and talk to her about her experience at Shikharapur School. She says, “I feel like I am a part of the family. They make me feel special. Never in my life have I been so happy and motivated. It makes me strive to be the best version of myself, learn more and work harder. I can’t wait to grow up and contribute a lot for the sake of poor and needy people.”