Kathmandu, January 30
A meeting of the Central Steering Committee presided over by Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi took a seven-point decision to resolve an array of problems confronting persons with disabilities.
According to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the meeting of the committee held earlier this week dwelt on ways to improve the life of the disabled and to end discrimination against them. All the concerned ministries and agencies have been directed to submit to the OPMCM the progress report with implementation status of various decisions made by the committee in the past.
“The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare will take the initiative of establishing one community rehabilitation centre in each province for persons with disabilities. Similarly, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport has been directed to carry out monitoring of the implementation of reserved seats for disabled people in public vehicles,” read a report issued by the OPMCM.
Person with disabilities and their assistants are provided, respectively, free fare and 50 per cent discount and seat will be reserved in public transport. Discount facility is also provided in customs and other taxes while buying or importing vehicles for people with disability or such people.
The meeting also decided that the MoPIT should provide disabled-friendly provision at the time of preparing initial drawing and design of roads to make them compatible with disabled people’s mobility needs. Meanwhile, the MoPIT, Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and Ministry of Urban Development will work together to construct physical infrastructure of public importance (tall and large buildings, cinema halls, banks, schools, hospitals, offices, streets and sidewalks, among others) that disabled-friendly as per the National Policy and Plan of Action on Disability, 2006.
According to the census carried out in 2011, about two per cent (513,321) of the total population of the country is living with one or the other kind of disability. Of them, 280,086 are male and 233,235 are female. Physical disability constitutes 36.3 per cent of the population with disability followed by blindness/low vision (18.5 per cent), deaf/hard of 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 and 95 per cent are unemployed.
A version of this article appears in print on January 31, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.