Disabled women face abuses galore

Kathmandu, January 14:

Disabled women and girls say they are often sexually abused, cheated and robbed.

The victims said they are cheated by ticket collectors in buses.

People rob them of their belongings in the name of helping them, they further said.

Durga Pariyar, a 23-year-old visually-impaired girl, is very careful to avoid miscreants on her way to the Technical and Skill Development Centre for Blind and Disabled (TSDCBD) in Kirtipur where she is learning tabala and vocal.

A mother of a three-month-old daughter, Durga Pariyar can do little to avoid unwanted circumstances. Her bitter experience tells her to be remain cautious.

Her family members in Palpa district disowned her after a fellow villager raped her and she gave birth to a daughter.

Durga has left her daughter in an orphanage and is trying to lead an independent life.

Kamala Budhathoki, a member of the National Disabled Fund, said: “Women and girls with disabilities face high rates of violence on the hands of their families and the society. They are put into low priority list for being women and disabled.”

Disabled women and girls are dependent on companions.

They find it difficult to find remedies to their sufferings. Even services and shelters are rarely available and accessible for them.

Saraswati Lama, a 16-year-old visually impaired girl, was recently robbed of her belongings by a bystander who offered helping hand to her.

The 16-year-old girl, who is an intermediate-level student at the Padma Kanya Campus, said even drivers and handy boys on buses and microvans often cheat them.

Sudharshan Subedi, president of the Nepal Disabled Human Rights Centre, said: “Disabled women’s performance in education, employment and financial status is low than their non-disabled female and disabled male counterparts.”