If a person with disability happens to find the right person and right organization to be with, can he or she make a difference? Amir Lama (Bhomjan), a 16-year old from Palung, is an example of a resounding ‘yes’.
With support from Karuna Foundation and its Executive Director Deepak Raj Sapkota, Bhomjan has been making efforts to highlight the problems faced by Nepal’s disabled in different parts of the world.
Picked up by a team of Karuna Foundation during the earthquakes of 2015, Bomjan, a handicapped artist from Palung, got all the opportunity to highlight not only his own cause but the cause of all people like him.
As the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is being observed by the global community with the theme of transformation toward sustainable and resilient society, the day gives a reason for persons with disabilities in Nepal to rejoice, too.
The day aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of their situation in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life, according to the United Nations.
National Federation of Disabled Nepal (NFDN), the national umbrella body of persons with disabilities, has set the national slogan ‘call of SDGs to leave no one behind: let’s join hand for implementation of disability-friendly planning’ to celebrate the day.
This year the theme of IDPD focuses on the enabling conditions for the transformative changes envisaged in the 2030 development agenda for SDGs, said Suraj Sigdel, Country Director of CBM Nepal Country Office.
“This theme is very pertinent and relevant. As the rights of persons with disabilities are yet to be fully realized in Nepal, their rights and well-being in all spheres of society and development are the most crucial for sustainable development.”
There are differences in the estimates of the prevalence rate of disability in Nepal. National Population and Housing Census 2011 puts the prevalence of disability at 1.94%. On the other hand, Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS) 2010/11 states that 3.6 percent of people have some kind of disability.
“The process of disability-inclusive development will be faster and effective if the government gets the persons with disabilities to participate in the decision-making process,” he opined, adding that it is equally important that the government should ensure disability disaggregated data as envisaged by the SDGs.
As in the past Nepal celebrated the day by organizing various programs, but many people like Bomjan have not been brought to the scene.
Karuna Foundation programs have brought forth the persons with disability from where they were hidden, in rural and remote parts, to the mainstream.