Stu­dent poet writ­ing his own des­tiny


Khacham­gyal’s home­town in China’s Qing­hai prov­ince is fa­mous for pro­duc­ing learned schol­ars and lit­er­ary leg­ends, and the col­lege stu­dent is determined to fol­low in their foot­steps.

The 26-year-old, who is only the sec­ond blind per­son to ever be en­rolled at Ti­bet Uni­ver­sity, has al­ready won many awards for his po­ems and ar­ti­cles in Ti­betan.

“I want to achieve my dream, which is to live with­out need­ing to ad­mire other peo­ple and with­out other peo­ple need­ing to dis­crim­i­nate against me,” said the sopho­more stu­dent, who lost his sight be­cause of ane­mia at age 16.

Khacham­gyal’s na­tive Re­gong county is the birth­place of renowned Ti­betan writer Gen­dun Chopel and other artists, and is known for its thangka paint­ing, a tra­di­tional Ti­betan Bud­dhist art.

Yet, his true in­spi­ra­tion was a French woman known in Ti­betan as Kon­chok Pemo. In 2005, she helped him en­roll at Braille With­out Bor­ders in Lhasa.

“Kon­chok Pemo is my bene­fac­tor, she showed me a path of bright­ness in my life,” he said.

At the spe­cial­ist school, he stud­ied Chi­nese, Ti­betan and English. He said he picked up the Lhasa di­alect in a mat­ter of weeks, and was speak­ing good English within six months.

He went on to com­plete ju­nior and se­nior mid­dle school in Lhasa, and in 2013 was ac­cepted by Ti­bet Uni­ver­sity, where he ma­jors in trans­la­tion.

Khacham­gyal said he stud­ies with help from his class­mates. “They take turns to read the books to me, and some books have au­dio ver­sions so I can lis­ten again and again,” he said.

“As well as my class­mates help­ing out with many things in daily life, the school gives me a spon­sor­ship of 3,000 yuan ($490) a year,” he said.

In the past two years, he has read more than 20 book­sand­writ­ten 16 es­says, in­clud­ing five that have been pub­lished in mag­a­zines and news­pa­pers.

“I ad­mire­him­for his wis­dom,” said Ten­zin, one of his class­mates. “He is a good man.” Con­tact the writ­ers at palden_ny­ima@chi­nadaily.

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