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Artist With Cerebral Palsy Carves And Paints With His Feet

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If there’s a will, there’s a way. That phrase might be old and overused, but that’s the best way to describe a very talented and inspiring man from Bhutan.

Pema Tshering was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was a child, but he didn’t allow himself to be a slave to his illness. Instead, he pursued his passion in art despite all the trials and difficulties of his condition.

Pema had a tough childhood. He was abandoned by his parents when he was six after finding out that he had cerebral palsy.

His parents didn’t want to deal with the struggles of having a kid with this condition, so they chose to turn their backs on him. Pema doesn’t reveal much about his early life except that he was born in Mongar district to farmer parents.

At 18 years old, Pema had a chance meeting with Her Majesty the Queen Mother Tshering Pem Wangchuk who was visiting his village at the time. Unlike his parents, the Queen Mother didn’t turn her back on him but instead gave him the love and support he needed.

The Queen Mother then sponsored Pema at an art school Institute of Zorig Chusum in Thimphu.

Pema said:

“I didn’t mind doing any job, but I didn’t think I was fit to do some jobs, as I didn’t go to school and didn’t have knowledge. So I decided to choose to learn carving and painting.”

Paralyzed from the hip up, the 31-year-old artist had been using his feet as his hands for almost his entire life.

Pema also had congenital deformities in his spinal column, resulting in limited use of his legs.

Even though he is a handicap, Pema is now known as one of the most recognized painters and wood-carvers in Bhutan. His fame had nothing to do with his condition at all. His works are being noticed not because people felt pity for him, but because they are incredibly good.


Pena now sells his artworks at a small craft workshop, which was set up by the Queen Mother at Simply Bhutan.

Watch this inspiring video to see Pema in action:

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