KATHMANDU, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Nepal marked the 27th International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Monday with a commitment to making the state more inclusive for persons with disabilities.
Though the global theme for this year is "Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality," Nepal marked the celebrations with "Count me, include me."
A special gathering including rally was organized by Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen in Kathmandu with the participation of over 500 people with different forms of disabilities.
Addressing the function, Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa said that the government is sensitive and committed to ensuring all the rights are protected for people with disabilities.
"Our constitution has treated the persons with disabilities as equal to other people with an aim to respect them and their contributions. We have been formulating acts and best policies for the effective implementation," the minister said
Noting that the government is forming a special mechanism to address the demands of persons with disabilities, she said that discussions are also going on to change the name of ministry to make it more inclusive.
In 2017, the Nepali parliament endorsed the Disability Rights Bill, adopting a human rights-based approach to disability. The new law incorporates some crucial features to safeguard rights of persons with disabilities, though it remains to be implemented.
Sudarshan Subedi, Chairman of National Federation of the Disabled, a national umbrella body of persons with disabilities, told Xinhua, "We need to identify the necessities of disabled people in various sectors like education, health and employment first. Then, we need to address their demands to support their overall development. "
As per the Census 2011, 1.94 percent of total population of Nepal has some kind of disability.
According to National Federation of the Disabled, there are more than three hundred member organizations working against all kinds of discriminations, marginalization, isolation and barriers against persons with disabilities.
On the occasion, representatives of different disabled persons' organizations demanded inclusion of disabled persons at every level of the government and equal access in every sector.
Bharat BC, a wheelchair user who is also engaged in sports, shared with Xinhua, "There are many people with disabilities who are limited within the domestic sphere. They are not being counted and are deprived of opportunities. Everyone should be counted as productive member of society and included in state mechanisms."
Recently, National Federation of the Disabled has also launched campaign #CountMeIncludeMe to include the persons with disabilities in data and statistics, decision making process, development initiatives and state mechanism as competent and eligible persons for the labor market.