Deaf woman finds creative freedom in bamboo and cane craft

Lack of education, skills, and limited access to infrastructure prevents persons with disabilities from actively participating in social and economic life. This keeps them isolated, and often subject to discrimination. However, in Zhemgang, a deaf woman has broken through these challenges. Through skills training, she has mastered bamboo and cane crafts, transforming her life and changing how society sees disabilities.

39-year-old Singye Lhamo from Nangkor Gewog’s Goling village has spent her entire life with limited opportunities due to her disability.

However, a three-month skills training has opened up a world of creative possibilities for her through bamboo and cane crafting.

During the final month of her training, Singye dedicated herself to mastering the craft of Bangchung weaving, a traditional cane art form passed down through generations.

“Now I can weave three different types of bamboo Bangchungs and I have learnt many other bamboo craft skills. I can demonstrate them all.”

Recognising her dedication, Singye’s instructor tailored instruction to accommodate her needs, using sign language as the medium of instruction.

“Within a month, she has learned all the skills of Bangchung weaving, from intricate design to stitching. I noticed her keen interest within the first month and I taught her everything, from material collection and preparation to weaving, colouring, and producing a high-quality product,” said Minjur,  an instructor.

The training has equipped Singye with valuable skills and paved the way for financial independence and personal growth.

“I know how to weave all kinds of cane and bamboo items here. I hope to make income by selling my products back home.”

Following her training, Singye plans to sell her crafted products and open a shop, further defying societal perceptions of disability and embracing her newfound creative abilities.

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