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Kathmandu, January 13
What feelings the disabled people experience are not different from others but the state and others do not act the way that they have expected. The government has not categorized them as disabled and they are deprived of social security allowances.
Sunita Tiluwa at the age of 30 from Dhading demonstrated a miraculous moment by bursting the drops of tears while replacing her prosthetic leg at Bhrikutimandap based Physical Rehabilitation Center under the supervision of National Disabled Fund (NDF). She, who used to work at landlord’s farms on the basis of daily wages before two years, is worried of recalling her painful past, and hesitated to share her story of dark side of life.
“Several people encountered with me several times asking my story to sell for their purpose. But, I haven’t achieved anything by unfolding my unhealed wounds,” she said with her teary eyes.
The devastating earthquake that stroke Nepal in 2015 not only striking her life by losing her left leg, nevertheless also her home as a shelter of her family. She is the mother of two daughters aging 12 and 11 years and a son of five years respectively.
On the first day of accident, she was hospitalized at Dhading Hospital, but she had been recommended to transfer to Kathmandu based Teaching Hospital, where on the 4th day of dreadful accident, her left leg under knee was amputated . It charged them Rs 50,000 as they had to buy expensive medicines.
Now, Mrs Tiluwa has no option except to struggle hard to make her alive. She can only work in kitchen by sitting on the chair. It is difficult to walk with her artificial leg installed by NDF in free of cost even after she walked on support of crutches.
Similarly, she expressed her qualms against village development committee, which rejected to register her case as a disabled person, claiming that leg under knee cannot be labeled as handicapped. However, it issued only identity card which helps to get discount on bus fair. “I am deprived of social security allowance provided by the government to disabled people. I can’t work like before and I have weak economic status. It’s not fair to me.”
Currently, Tiluwa is living at Baluwatar under an NGO. She has been provided a room for her eldest daughter and son, who are studying in support of organization, but only six months are left to stay there. Then, she will have to go to village. “I don’t know what to do,” she was perplexed in grief.
In devastating earthquake of 2015, 42 amputations were done, and 37 were supported by National Disabled Fund. 380 people of the civil insurgent are getting support from the NDF. Approximately, 1000 to 1200 people had been assisted by NDF very year.
JiwanLimbu, age of 25, hailing from Dharan of Sunsari district, encountered with an accident at his home that crushed his body under waist by wooden pillar, damaging the whole left leg four years ago. His leg was dissected after 48 hours of accident at B&B Hospital in Lalitpur. Limbu, currently living at Lagankhel with his wife and one year old daughter, is running a teashop. He, who has good knowledge of English and Nepali languages, has completed grade 12. “Life is hard as there is no opportunity to get job for the people like us. I have searched the job, and asked several people for any opportunity but to no avail,” he expressed his sorrow. He has not installed prosthetic leg or any disabled allowance from the government.
KhemBahadurDhami, 36, personnel of Armed Police Force, living with his wife and one daughter in a rented room at Satungal near APF Hospital, was shot at head at crossfire during Maoist insurgency in Surkhet 15 years ago. He, who was paralyzed by the accident, goes to hospital daily for physiotherapy and attendance at his office. With the regular physiotherapy his condition is improving a little. “I had been hospitalized for three years , and had been discharged with wheelchair” said Dhami.
“My life went to a different course that I can never change. I can’t work anything,” he said. “I get salary around Rs.18,000 monthly that helps maintain family life,” Mr Dhami shared. He is originally from Gorkha district where his house had been damaged by the earthquake of 2015.
“Disabilities are due to the lack of the accessible structure. There is no disabled friendly infrastructure, services and facilities in our country. Similarly, normal people are not conscious about the rights of the disabled people” stated Yam NathMainali, member secretary of National Disabled Fund.
According to the recent data, the number of the disabled people of Nepal is 1.94 percent of the total population. National Census Report 2011 says that 5,13,312 Nepalese people have been registered in the group of various types of disabilities. Among them, physical disabilities are 186,457, blindness and low vision are 94,765, unable or hard to hearing are 79,307, deaf-blind are 9,436, speech problem 58,855, mentally disabled are 30,997, intellectual disabled are 14,888 and multiple disabilities are 38,616.
At last but not the least, all examples mentioned above are some authentic representations of physically handicapped people. The number of this group seems very less in quantity in the eyes of state, however their pain, anxiety and misery could be very vast that the state can’t measure out in the exact degree of scale. Hence, current policy makers of the state should re-examine and reconsider their rights in order to revitalize this group as per their needs and aspirations. Then only, the people of this cluster sense the subsistence of living state governed by the rule of law.