Activity Report from Nepal
Independent Living Center for PWDs Kathmandu, Nepal
After the Great April movement the country is now in the restructuring process through Constitution Assembly (CA). The election of CA has been completed and enters into the process of making new constitution for new republic Nepal. In the present CA seems tiring on drafting the several thematic issues. IL Center, DPOs and other several groups and communities are making regular advocacy and lobby to ensure their rights as a fundamental rights in the constitution. Persons with Disabilities and their organizations are also making advocacy to ensure their special rights in the new constitution of Nepal.
Similarly, Nepal government has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. The ratification demonstrated the government’s commitment to protect and promote the human rights and dignity of Persons with Disabilities. The rights of PWDs mentioned in the convention will be reflected in the national legal frame work as well as the new constitution of Nepal. It is believed that the ratification of this convention further supports the work of many organizations and human rights defenders engaged with the issue of disability and provides an important tool to respect and protect the human rights and inherent dignity of PWDs.
CIL-Kathmandu has been working basically in policy advocacy for increasing the participation of PWDs in the decision making process, peer counseling to the disabled persons, personal assistant services (PAS), independent living program (ILP) in terms of training on daily living skills etc.
Current activity of CIL-Kathmandu:
1. Has been running “Monthly Independent Living Discussion Program” in the collaboration of Action Aid Nepal since 30th March 2007.
* Sensitization on disability and Independent Living to various stakeholders such as professionals, civil society, DPOs, NGOs, INGOs, Government authorities, Media, Parents, Politicians, etc. One day in a month
2. Has been running program on “Promotion and Development of Independent Living Concept in Nepal” in the collaboration of Mainstream Association Japan since 2006.
* Network Expansion of CIL
* Information Dissemination and Referral Activities
* Personal Assistant Service
* Administrative support
3. Has been running “Promotion and Protection of rights of PWDs through Advocacy and Independent Living activities” in the collaboration of Ministry of Women, Children and social Welfare since 2007.
* Advocacy and lobbying (meetings, delegation, interactions, group campaign etc.) with stakeholders in the current issues raised by CIL
* Peer counseling to build self confident and minimize the inferiority complex
* Practical knowledge to disabled people on daily living skill on the framework of Independent Living Program.
* Accessibility program such as study and interventions
* Implementation of Independent Living Experience Program in Kathmandu
* Trainings to PWDs on Independent Living in regional level
4. Has been running “Attendants’ Production and disability awareness programs for university students” in the collaboration of APNIL since 2009
* Orientation for the students at colleges and university
* Interviewed of the Potential Candidates
* Attendants Training
* Mobilization of the Attendants
5. Has been running “Equalization of PWDs through Accessibility” in the collaboration of Australian Embassy since 2010
* Barrier free check on the public places at Kathmandu
* Construction of slopes and ramps
Some Important outputs observed as the result of CIL’s work:
There are some very good achievements which have really supported to promote the disability rights in Nepal. A regular, joint and hard effort of disabled people and their self help organizations are the key reasons behind this achievements and CIL-Kathmandu is always in decisive and important role to lead this joint movement since its establishment. In last three years we have observed some good achievements in policy and practices of government for promoting the rights of disabled people; are listed below;
* The contribution of PWDs in the great Peoples’ Movement of 2006 has been highly valued by political parties, civil society and the international communities as well. CIL-Kathmandu has played leading role to make visible PWDs in the peoples’ movement from the side of civil society.
* Nepal government has signed and ratified UNCRPD.
* Because of the regular campaign carried out by CIL-Kathmandu for barrier free environment some of the government buildings have been accommodated with wheelchair ramps. Similarly, some District Administration Offices, District Development Offices in some districts, Banks, some other public buildings, parks and other newly constructed building have also made wheel chair ramps in the main entrance of the building.
* Nepal government has made new policy on the disability identity card. There is provision of 4 grades on disability. 1. Red Disability Identity Card for Profound disability, 2) Blue Disability Identity Card for Severe Disability, 3) Yellow Disability Identity Card for Moderate Disability and 4) White Disability Identity Card for Mild Disability.
* Central Government of Nepal has allocated Disability Allowances Rs 1000 per month for Persons having Profound Disabilities and increased Rs 300 for Severe disabilities.
* Government of Nepal has announced 100% tax free for those specially accommodated scooters which are used as need of disabled people for their private mobility.
* Local Government of Nepal (district development committee) has brought the provision to be allocated 1 to 5% part of total district’s budget for the development of disabled people, of Local Self Governance Act in practice in various districts.
* There is 45% discount in the fare of public transport and 50% discount in air fare in domestic flight for PWDs.
* Central Government of Nepal has allocated Rs 109, 00,000/- to work for the rights promotion and betterment of disabled people in the budget. The amount is largest found ever allocated for disabled people in the history. National Budget of Nepal has addressed the activities of CIL- Kathamdnu and allocated Rs 10,50,000/ 13,125 US$ annually fund which would be used in following areas:
– Peer counseling
– Independent living programs and
– Barrier free campaigning
* The Interim Constitution of Nepal 2006 has addressed need of inclusion of PWDs in the state mechanisms and policy making level as well.
* Because of the regular interventions of CIL-Kathmandu the Constitution Assembly Directories has ensured the provisions of sign language interpreter for deaf CA member and Personal Assistant for wheelchair user CA member representing to CA. It is also good to recall here that two persons from disabled community Mr. Raghabir Joshi (deaf person) and Ms. Indira Gurung (physically disabled) have been nominated as CA member. Similarly the directory has also ensured the provisions to participate two disabled people in the main committee to be formed for constitution drafting.
* In organizational level CIL-Kathmandu has established 9 IL Centers in different parts of Nepal. They are launching the IL activities.