Although it was a hectic time, CPN-UML leader Yubaraj Gyawali came to dine in a dark room. Businessman Rohini Thapaliya and Pradeep Kumar Shrestha were also there. Constitutional lawyer Surya Dhungel and Kamala Dhungel joined dining at the dark along with many Kathmandu-based diplomats.
“I had not realized the painful suffering of a blind until spending an hour dining in the dark,” said Gyawali. If we find it so hard to live an hour, I cannot imagine the fate of the people living in complete darkness.”
Although these kinds of restaurants have gained much popularity in Israel and countries like America, Australia, UK, Switzerland, and Canada, among others, this was for the first time Nepalese were dining in one of these in their own settings.
Supported by the Israeli Embassy, the restaurant run by blinds of Nepal, the Imago Dei restaurant, attracted many Nepalis. Invited by Israeli ambassador to Nepal Hanan Goder-Goldberger and Mrs. Mae-Goder-Goldberger, this was the first such experience for many guests.
Operated by two blind people, the restaurant served food to Kathmandu based diplomats, politicians, senior officials, businessmen and others. As the Israeli Embassy has dedicated the year 2012 for the people with special needs, this is its part of the program.
According to estimations, there are about 200,000 visually impaired people in Nepal. Many visually impaired people are not able to contribute to the income of their families and depend entirely on support by family or community members. “Our aim is to throw some light on the issue and raise awareness about the many opportunities out there for the visually impaired people,” said Israeli Ambassador to Nepal Hanan Goder-Goldberger. “ The concept of the restaurant is to provide an unusual social experience. This idea seems a little strange as people are suppressed by the dominant sense of the sight.”
This was a great experience, said industrialist Rohini Thapaliya, adding he could realize how painful was the suffering of the blind people.
Run by two blind Nepalese, the ten-day long experience helped Nepal’s blind to gain much confidence in what they could do that many others could not.