Bhutanese Refugees face a ticking clock of self-sufficiency
laden with many hurdles and challenges along the way
Story by Tom Crain
Durga, Nirmala, Bishnu, and Kailash Ghimirey
Durga Ghimirey is one of 120,000 Bhutanese refugees being relocated around the world. He is a member of the Lhotshampas, the unlucky ethnic group in Bhutan who fell victim to ethnic cleansing.
As a teen, he fled to India, then was trucked to Goldhap, one of seven refugee camps in Nepal. Here, he spent nearly two decades highlighted by his marriage to wife Bishnu and raising two children, daughter Nirmala and son Kailash. He and his family lived in a cramped bamboo hut without running water or electricity. He received rice rations once a month having to make them last, earning extra money to pay for supplemental food or having his family go hungry. He and his family experienced several bouts of life threatening starvation and illnesses, and witnessed other camp residents dying all around them.