The Ministry of Women, Children, and Senior Citizens has drafted the 'Ten-year National Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities' to establish a just society by developing disabled-friendly governance system for achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

The draft national action plan (2020/21-2029/30) also envisages fulfilling commitment Nepal has made in international forums, provide assistive devices to differently-abled persons on the basis of their individual needs, increase their participation in decision-making process, enhance their access to employment and public life, and promote their dignity and rights.

"This national plan is needed to achieve economic empowerment of differently-abled persons through integrated programmes of self-employment, employment and entrepreneurship by imparting skills and capacity development training," it says. The national action plan provides guidance to the authorities to institutionalise the disabled-friendly governance system from the bottom of the local level, while continuing the achievement the country has made so far in the area of disability.

It aims to harmonise the disabled-friendly programmes to be conducted by the public and private sectors, cooperatives, non-governmental organisations and community organisations. The national action plan is also expected to aid in realising the aspiration of 'Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali'.

The vision of the national action plan is 'dignified, self-reliant and self-dependent life of differently-abled persons'. Similarly, its goal is to develop disabled-friendly governance system in all three tiers of government through economic and social empowerment of differently-abled persons. It has set seven overarching goals, which include establishment of rights guaranteed by national and international laws related to differently-abled persons, ending all forms of discrimination and violence against them, making capable and competitive citizens by ensuring access to quality education, enhancing rehabilitation and health services for easy life, ensuring easy access of differently-abled persons to public amenities and utilities including transportation and information technology, and enacting laws for the development of disabled-friendly governance system.

Similarly, the national action plan has proposed nine strategies to achieve its goal and objectives. It has also defined the roles of each ministry, National Planning Commission, development partners, non-governmental organisations, private sector and civil society in the implementation of plans and programmes related to differently-abled persons.

"The MoWCSC will play the lead role in the implementation of the national action plan in coordination with all three tiers of government, development partners, non-governmental organisations, various groups and clubs, civil society and stakeholders," it reads.

Similarly, there will be national steering committee, provincial steering committee and local-level steering committee for monitoring, evaluation and facilitation of programmes in the federal, provincial and local levels.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 20, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.