Student poet writing his own destiny

Updated: 2015-05-28 00:33

By PALDEN NYIMA and DAQIONG in Lhasa(China Daily USA)

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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.

True inspiration

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 books and written 16 essays, including five that have been published in magazines and newspapers.

"I admire him for his wisdom," said Tenzin, one of his classmates. "He is a good man."

Contact the writers at palden_nyima@chinadaily.