Disabled people guaranteed right to political participation

Kathmandu, October 15

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill authenticated by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari today has guaranteed the right to political participation to people with disabilities.

“Persons with disabilities shall have the right to announce their candidacy and exercise their voting rights with or without the help of any person or institution,” Section 11 of the bill reads. The bill will come into effect from the 90th day of its authentication

The bill also requires the government to make necessary arrangements to provide them access to voting process, and disabled-friendly facilities and materials, besides ensuring their right to participate in policy-making.

The bill says that any person with disability shall be provided with free education by the Government of Nepal. “Educational institutions designated by the government shall provide to persons with disability higher education free of charge. No fee shall be charged to such persons for enrolment in educational institutions,” it says.

They will also be entitled to vocational and technical education free of charge. The law has also barred educational institutions from discriminating against disabled persons in extracurricular activities, and distribution of and access to educational materials.

“The government may also make arrangements for providing free education to children of disabled persons,” states the bill. As per the bill, the government may make necessary arrangements for providing education to persons with hearing and vision disability through use of appropriate language, method, format and media.

“The government may provide free education with residence facilities to disabled persons depending on geographical remoteness of the place they live and severity of disability,” reads the bill. As per the law, the government shall provide for a separate examination and evaluation system for disabled persons on the basis of classification of disabilities.

It also requires private educational institutions to provide disabled persons with free education on quota determined by the government.

According to the 2011 national census, about two per cent (513,321) of the total population of the country is living with one or the other kind of disability.