Wheelchair-friendly toilets for differently abled

KATHMANDU: Laxmi Intercontinental Pvt Ltd, a sister organisation of Laxmi Group, on Wednesday handed over wheelchair-friendly toilets to the National Federation of the Disabled Nepal.

The company has invested over two million rupees for the construction of two types of wheelchair-friendly toilets — for males and females.

The accessible toilets have been constructed as per the standards of accessibility defined by the World Health Organisation. The toilets are equipped with wheelchair height basins, side handrails, hand dryer, paper holder, mirrors and menstrual towel-changing tables. The ramps and doors are wide enough for the wheelchairs. Ganesh Bahadur Shrestha, President of the Laxmi Intercontinental Pvt Ltd, said, “The company will also be reconstructing the public toilets of Kathmandu with disabled-friendly facilities. Likewise, 50 wheelchairs will be donated to the people with walking disabilities.”

Sudarsan Subedi, President, NFDN, said that differently-abled people had been facing lot of trouble and seeking help from many stakeholders for the construction of accessible toilets on the premises of NFDN before the company agreed to construct them.

“We were ashamed of ourselves for not having accessible toilets for the people with disabilities,” he said, adding that many wheelchair users had faced problems due to lack of accessible toilets in the NFDN and public places.

According to Subedi, more than 90 per cent of people with disabilities do not have accessible toilets. The open defecation-free campaign carried out by the government in various parts of the country has not constructed any disabled-friendly toilets.

He highlighted that NFDN would soon establish a restaurant equipped with accessible facilities, including disabled-friendly toilets, in collaboration with Laxmi Group. According to a survey conducted by NFDN, there are over 3,000,000 people with disabilities, out of which 80 per cent are illiterate and 95 per cent are unemployed.