Petroleum crisis adds to disabled people’s woesVisually-impaired Amrita Thapa, 25, struggles each day to reach her college due to the lack of disabled-friendly infrastructures. Originally from Jumla, she said her main concern is just to survive in the Capital and continue her studies.
Visually-impaired Amrita Thapa, 25, struggles each day to reach her college due to the lack of disabled-friendly infrastructures. Originally from Jumla, she said her main concern is just to survive in the Capital and continue her studies.
As the country marked 24th International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, hundreds of people like Thapa were facing numerous
problems related to basic mobility and access to services such as health, education and employment.
According to the 2011 census, there are 513,321 people with a disability across the country while the National Federation of Disabled Nepal estimates that the Capital alone has around 1,500 visually-impaired people and 2,000 wheelchair users.
Sudarshan Subedi, a human rights lawyer and chairperson of the National Federation of the Disabled Nepal (NFDN), said the government has not even implemented the Supreme Court’s order to provide Rs 500-3,000 per month to each partially and fully disabled individual. Currently, the government provides Rs 1,000 to severely disabled and Rs 300 for partially disabled people.
According to the NFDN, 25,492 people received full disability allowance and 6,863 received partial allowance while 480,966 others are left without any allowances.
The recent unofficial blockade by India, meanwhile, has added to the hardships of the differently-able people. The people with disabilities say they can’t stay in line for long to receive fuel and cooking gas, and even passenger
vehicles are too congested for them to travel in.
National Disabled Fund President Nitesh Kumar Gupta said the government is indifferent towards the disabled people at this hour of crisis. “It is the government’s duty to provide free education and job opportunities, making the disabled people skillful,” he said, adding that even if the people with disabilities are provided with the job opportunities, they cannot work properly due to the existing physical infrastructures.
NFDN officials said though they approached the Ministry for Commerce and Supplies recently requesting the authorities concerned to help disabled people in receiving cooking gas, petroleum products and food items, their demands have not been addressed yet.