People Saarc Event- Make the Rights Real!

One of the Presenter, Mr. Kiran Shilpakar presenting on Inclusive Development and Disability Rights.   Picture Caption: One of the Presenter, Mr. Kiran Shilpakar presenting on Inclusive Development and Disability Rights.

Disabled People International and National Federation of the Disabled, Nepal (NFDN) calls on the 18th Saarc Summit to advocate that Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) process should include a dedicated goal for making the active participation of persons with disabilities in developmental agendas.

The organizers also calls to SAARC Government to develop a regional task force of people with disabilities to formulate a strategic action plan to make all the rights real for persons with disabilities in south region.

The calls came out a side event of People’s Saarc at Staff College, Jawalakhel, Nepal on Sunday, 23rd November, 2014. The program titled, “Making the rights real for persons with disabilities” was collection of 3 presentations related to disabilities status in SAARC region and a panel discussion which followed the presentations.

The presentations were done by three young disability rights activist of Nepal. Mr. Mahadev Bharati, from Disabled Service Association presented on Political and Electoral Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Saarc region. Similarly, Mr. Kiran Shilpakar, from National Association of Physical Disabled (NAPD) presented on Disability Rights and Inclusive Development on SAARC region. Lastly, Ms. Nirmala Dhital, from Nepal Disabled Women Association presented on the Status of Women and Children with disabilities in SAARC region. All the presenters did their best to bring the issues related to their subject matter forward to the panelist as well as participants.

Panelist, Mr. Subodh Raj Pyakurel expressing his views on the  panel discussion.
Picture Caption: Panelist, Mr. Subodh Raj Pyakurel expressing his views on the  panel discussion.

Following the presentations, a panel discussion was conducted on the larger theme of making the rights real for persons with disabilities. The discussion was moderated by Kanak Mani Dixit, senior journalist and human rights advocate in South Asia region. The panelist were Mr. Nar Bahadur Limbu (disability rights activist), Dr. Renu Raj Bhandari (human rights and women rights activist), Ms. Hum Kala Pandey (government representative), Mr. Subodh Raj Pyakurel senior human rights advocate), Ms. Anartina Gonjaliz (Indian delegate/women rights activist).

All the panelist urge the government of SAARC countries to immediately identify all the challenges and issues of people with disability in the region, from a regional task force to develop disability action plan, implement the existing laws and policies of the government and make the rights available to persons with disabilities for their day to day lives. They also urge some countries in SAARC those who haven’t ratified the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) to do so as soon as possible.

Mr. Subodh Raj Pyakurel, who is also organizer of People Saarc committed to include the disabilities issues in the final declaration document of People Saarc. It was also recommended from the panelist and the participant that there should be a SAARC level disability conference in the near future in Nepal to strengthen this movement and to again attention in the region.

Mr. Shudarson Subedi, president of Disabled People International South Asia Region and National federation of the Disabled, Nepal committed that he and his institution will keep working continuously to enhance the rights of persons with disability both nationally and in the SAARC region as well. He also thanked all the participation for taking part in such important discussion.

Altogether, 110 people, both disabled and non-disabled, from different organization attended this event. Out of them, 10 of them were delegates from other countries.

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