A public toilet designed to be a model for the differently able people to access it has come into use in Bhrikutimandap, sending the people with disability, who were attending the inaugural program, to bursts of cheers.
The need of such toilets was pointed out by country director of Karuna and former chair of AIN Dipak Raj Sapkota four years ago. But this project faced many hurdles before coming to fruition now.
Sagar Prasai, the Country Coordinator of AWARE, which is a project related to the employment of persons with disability, said the opening of the disabled-friendly toilet at Bhrikutimandap is a game changer.
“No matter what others think about the toilet, this is a big thing for me. I don’t need to worry now where to go for toilet when I do visit the place,” said Prasai, a social activist from Nepal, who has been advocating for the rights of people with disability for over 10 years.
Built with a cash support of Rs 4 million by AIN Disability Working Group and land provided by Social Welfare Council, the toilet will cater to the needs of the persons with disability.
Sapkota had fought tooth and nail to acquire the land for the project. AIN DWG secured the approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs for the construction of the toilet for people with disability.
Nepal has over 15 percent population with some kinds of physical disability, but the country is only now looking into the problems of this group of people. “The toilet will serve the dual purpose of enhancing accessibility and showing an example to be used in advocacy with stakeholders,” said Shaurabh Sharma, coordinator of AIN Disability Working Group.
Inaugurated jointly by Dilli Prasad Bhatta, Member Secretary, Social Welfare Council, chairperson of AIN Dr. Prabin Manandhar, President of National Federation of the Disabled, Nepal (NFDN) Sudarson Subedi and representatives from Ministry of Home Affairs and Women, Children and Social Welfare, the toilet is meant to be a model for the differently able people.
If the recent reports of AIN are any indication, International NGOs in Nepal are highly involved in two sectors in particular, disability and health.
At a time when the country has been making efforts to bring persons with disability into national mainstream, INGOs working in Nepal have justifiably spent the resources to uplift the livelihood of the persons with disability.
A book released at the event showed inspiring and inclusive stories of AIN members contributing towards inclusive development and highlighted the important contribution made by International Non-governmental Organization in Nepal.
Published by Disability Working Group of AIN, the book highlighted how the group has been making continuous efforts towards mainstreaming disability within AIN fraternity and beyond.
Compiled with a handful of inspiring, inclusive stories on different themes from program implemented by AIN members at the individual, group and national levels to other stories, the book has stories on different issues including how to promote disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction.
Amir Bomjan’s stories of dream, dedication and economic independence were very interesting. With support from Karuna, Bomjan has been showing to the world that nothing is impossible.
Another INGO ASB, the workers’ Samartan Federation, a German aid and welfare, have shown how to work in disaster with disabilities. FAIR MED’s post earthquake – Empowering mobility has changed the people's livelihood drastically. Finnish INGOs Felm, Handicap International, ICCO Cooperation, IFES, Save the Children, Mission East, Marie Stopes Nepal, Plan International, Water Aid and UMN have been supporting various programs in similar contexts.
With its longstanding commitment, Save the Children’s support has brought drastic change in the livelihood of Ram Saran, an entrepreneur of Dolkha. Ram Saran was among the hundreds of people who benefited from Save the Children’s emergency response program.
Thanks to the support given by Save the Children, Ram Saran is now running a grocery shop adjacent to his temporary shelter to feed his family.
The second book published by AIN showed how AIN members were contributing to the health sector in Nepal 2016. Presented by Nirmala Sharma, coordinator of AIN Health Group, the mapping shows the intense involvement of INGOs in Nepal’s health sector providing support to Ministry of Health to implement various programs throughout the country.