A Disability Research Centre nested in the School of Arts, at Kathmandu University was launched amidst a function in Kathmandu.The Research Centre has been established to capacitate the School of Arts to seek and promote new knowledge about disability in children and adults, the impact of disabilities on children, individuals and families, evaluation and the efficacy of different policies, interventions and support methods.
The inauguration of the Centre was couched in a half-day Stakeholder Workshop on Disability attended by various organisations working the field of disability, as well as representatives from governmental and non governmental agencies and chaired by the Honorable Member of the National Planning Commission, (NPC) Dr Bimala Rai Poudyal. Dr Ram Khanta Makaju Shrestha Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University launched the Research Centre by clicking to launch the website of the Disability Research Center in the School of Arts web portal.
Speaking at the function Dr Bimala Rai Poudyal stressed on the need for society to be more sensitized on the special needs of persons with disability as well as the ‘diversity’ of disability. “The government has started many programmes for the benefit of persons with disabilities including Disability Audit of public buildings,” she said, and added, “It takes just 1 per cent extra budget to make physical infrastructures disabled-friendly!”
She also said that the Government and the NPC would be happy to collaborate with the Disability Research Center to better disseminate success stories, information about disability, validation of different findings as well as organizing policy discourses regarding disability.
Dr Ram Khanta Makaju Shrestha while highlighting the commitment to make Kathmandu University disabled-friendly, said that the University would work together with the government and all stakeholders to change the mindset of people regarding disability and contribute to bring the marginalized people with disability into the mainstream.
Dr Rowank Khan, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Nepal pointed out that UNICEF was at the forefront on disability work, working with the government and other partners to ensure that the daily lives of persons with disabilities could be improved. “Simple intervention such as adding a ramp, and to establishing disabled-friendly WASH facility in every school can make a lot of difference,” she said. “UNICEF is very pleased to have collaborated with Kathmandu University, School of Art to establish the Research Centre and will continue to work closely in the future too.”
Earlier, Dr Mahesh Banskota Dean School of Arts and School of Education Kathmandu University welcomed all the participants of the half day programme which had featured presentations dealing with the overview of disability around the world, and specifically on Nepal, as well as the ongoing work of the Hospital and Rehabilitation and Center for Disabled Children ( HRDC ) in Banepa.