Call to protect rights of disabled

  • 80 per cent of the disabled people are illterate

Kathmandu, December 3

The International Day of Persons With Disabilities was observed throughout the country by organising various awareness-raising programmes today. ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all’ was the theme set for this year.

The observance of the day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

National Federation of the Disabled Nepal, the umbrella organisation of disabled, organised a special function to mark the day in Kathmandu.

Speaking at the function, Naindra Prasad Upadhyay, secretary at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, said the rights of persons with disability bill passed by the Parliament had guaranteed the rights of the disabled and appealed to all to cooperate with the government for effective implementation of the law.

“As there are many challenges for implementation of the law, the government and all stakeholders should make consolidated efforts to ensure that no disabled is deprived of their rights,” said Upadhyay.

Radhika Aryal, joint secretary at the ministry, informed that the bill would come into force from January 15.

As per the bill, the government may provide free education with residence facilities to disabled persons, depending on geographical remoteness and severity of disability.

It has stated that the government shall provide for a separate examination and evaluation system for disabled persons on the basis of classification of disabilities. The proposed law also requires private educational institutions to provide disabled persons with free education on quota determined by the government.

Around one billion people globally have some form of disability, says the United Nations. They constitute 15 per cent of the world’s population and yet the world’s largest minority group faces many barriers to inclusion in key aspects of society.

According to the census carried out in 2011, about two per cent (513,321) of the total population of the country is found living with one or the other kind of disability . Of them, 280,086 are males and 233,235 females. Physical disability constitutes 36.3 per cent of the population with disability followed by blindness/low vision (18.5 per cent), deaf/hard to hearing (15.4 per cent), speech problem (11.5 per cent), multiple disability (7.5 per cent), mental disability (6 per cent), intellectual disability (2.9 per cent) and deaf-blind (1.8 per cent). Around 80 per cent of the disabled people in the country are illiterate.