Disabled-friendly public office buildings on the cards

Kathmandu, November 13:

The Department of Town Development and Building Construction (DTDBC) has directed all its 25 divisional offices to build ramps in public office buildings so that physically challenged people can move about easily.

Briefing reporters at a programme organised here today, Purna Kadariya, director general of the DTDBC, said the department has already directed all 25 divisional offices to build ramps in public offices within three years. The National Building Code 206 has a provision that every government office has to built a ramp for easy movement of the disabled.

The DTDBC has also corresponded with the Nepal Rastra Bank, Nepal Drinking Water Corporation, Nepal Electricity Authority and Nepal Telecom to make their offices disabled-friendly, Kad-ariya added. There is a need to bring a change in the mindset of the management rather than forcing them to implement such a decision, Kadariya said adding that it is a social responsibility to honour the handicapped.

Kiran Silpakar, vice-president of the National Association of Physically Disabled - Nepal (NAPDN), said public buildings that are disabled-friendly are countable. Places where disabled have to visit on a regular basis should be made friendly for them and it is a social and moral responsibility of the state, he said. It is estimated that there are more than 3 million disabled in Nepal and NAPDN has been working with a vision that envisages barrier-free environment, independent and respected life of persons with physical disabilities since its establishment in 1997.