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Supporting the Rehabilitation of Disabled Victims in Nepal

Publication date:2018-05-02
 

Everyone is speaking up to create a better place
to live

Supporting the Rehabilitation of Disabled Victims in Nepal – Report 15
Now is our chance to develop welfare in the community
Nozomi Nishijima, Physiotherapist

As a part of AMDA`s activities to support disabled victims in Nepal, we have been visiting many of those with disabilities individually. Not just in the suburbs of Kathmandu, but also in remote locations undertaking home visits in the form of a mobile camp, joined by disability groups. As a part of the IDOBATA GAFU Program, while giving counselling to disabled individuals, we have also talked with neighbors about understanding disabilities.

Furthermore, we have carried out a “Barrier-free Campaign” with the aim of promoting the understanding of disabilities together with various local authorities. The aim of this “Barrier-free Campaign” is to allow everyone, even if they have disabilities, to live equally in their areas. It also aims to reinforce to local authorities and regular citizens the fact that disabilities are also the responsibility of the community. In our efforts to support those with disabilities, we have frequently been cooperating with local disability groups. In January, we visited Lahan in the Siraha district and Mechinagar and Bhadrapur in the Jhapa district in eastern Nepal. In February, we visited Chatar in the mountainous Dhankuta district and Jawalakhel in the Lalitpur district in the Kathmandu basin.

Nepal promulgated a new constitution on 20th September after the earthquake in 2015. Until then, the authority to implement “barrier-free” changes (such as to roads and architecture) was held by the government ministries. However, due to widespread appeal for “barrier-free” changes, this authority moved to each regional district. In other words, these powers are being decentralized. This means that there is a better chance that the citizens’ needs can be met. Furthermore, during a meeting with local disability groups, I spoke about the topic of decentralization, and we thought about what this transfer of powers to regional districts means. Through this “Barrier-free campaign”, I have thought a lot about how to realize the voices of disabled citizens.
 

A flier distributed to citizens

For the Barrier-free Campaign which was held in the Lalitpur district in February, CIL joined forces with AMDA to carry it out as AMDA Support Program for the Disabled. Prior to the campaign, we made a proposal to be submitted to the local authorities and prepared fliers to be distributed to local citizens. The contents of these documents included concepts such as:
-    Lalitpur, a good place to live for everyone, regardless of disability or age
-    Those with disabilities are not at all pathetic, they’re just fellow humans
-    A fair chance, not charity

To the local authorities, I included a more specific account of the kind of infrastructural considerations that need to be made, such as roads and architecture. I prepared the leaflets, went with around 50 citizens with disabilities to the city office, and together we distributed them to people on the street. There, I was able to get a member of CIL Lalitpur to give my proposal to their representative, who then read it and passed it on to the deputy mayor.

Nepal has been democratized, and has promulgated a new constitution. With a new government and new administrative systems in place, the country is beginning to take positive steps forward. Now that the country is changing, those of us who have participated in this project think that now is a great opportunity to create a welfare-friendly environment. ‘Disability’ is also a societal responsibility. Through the cooperation with local disability groups, we are doing our best to support welfare systems to make Nepal a good place to live for everyone.


 
    •  Nepal
    •  2018

 
 
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