Kathmandu, January 20:

The prospect of employment for visually impaired has remained a debatable issue that has failed to draw the government’s attention.

Of 200,000 blind people in Nepal, 23 have completed Masters degree and 450 are Graduates, having no prospect for employment and those who are employed are either ill paid or are working in lower positions.

Sita Gyawali is the first unsighted woman to complete Masters level education in Nepal, but she is teaching Nepali for primary level students at the Laboratory School in Kirtipur. “The issue of blind employment has never been addressed, the chance of us getting employed is very grim, and if we are, the positions are under our qualifications,” she complaint.

Sushil Ghimire, spokesperson for the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, said: “If departments have vacancies they try to hire visually impaired, but till now there is no law regarding their employment prospect.”

He further said the forthcoming Civil Service Act would address the issue of disabled employment along with other marginalised sections of the society in 45 per cent reservation.

The executive member of the Nepal Association of the Blind (NAB), Nira Adhikari, is one of the five visually impaired women to complete Masters. She has tried twice for the officer level examination is the Public Service Commission, but failed.

“Their promise of considering us for employment is a mere lie,” Adhikari said the government is violating their rights. “We are regularly requesting the government to manage a system for employment according to our capacity, but they treat us as disable, not differently able,” protested Prajwal Bhandari, a B Ed level student at the Sano Thimi Campus.