(Full text of speech given by Mr. Shudarson Subedi, President of NFDN on Disability in Nepal: Working together for an inclusive society – Pre Global Summit on Disability organized by UNICEF and DFID in Kathmandu on June 02, 2018)
- Respected Chief Guest-Hon Minster, Ministry of Women Children and Senior Citizen, Ms. Tham Maya Thapa.
- Honorable member of parliament.
- Guest- Representatives from federal and local government.
- Guest – Ms.Velarie Juliand, Residential Coordinator, United Nations in Nepal.
- Guest-Mr. Rurik Marsden, Head of DFID in Nepal.
- Guest-Mr. Tomo Hojumi, Country Representative of UNICEF Nepal.
- My fellow colleagues and friends who have been contributing in disability rights promotion in Nepal.
- Everyone present in this event,
Namaste. Warm greetings to you all!!
- Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude for providing me this opportunity to speak on behalf of National Federation of Disabled Nepal – which is a sole umbrella organization of people with disabilities in Nepal.
- Ladies and Gentleman, we all are aware that the main issue today is necessity of inclusion of every single citizen in all development activities. That is making sure that no one is left behind.
- Today, as I am speaking in this auspicious event, I would like to draw your attention to some questions that often comes in my mind.
ü Result of Poor Fate?ü Medical Model and Should be treated?ü Reasons for Sympathy.ü Developmental Issue.ü Or the concept of Inclusive development?
- Where are we at development?
- Where does the voice of people with disability lies in these process?
- How are we looking at the issues of disability?
- Today in this age of 21st century, every development process is taking its pace. Civilization that started from stone age is now full of innovations and development. I want to remind you all the recent visit of a robot named Sofia to Nepal with beautiful message that “Nothing is impossible for beautiful country like Nepal”. Sofia is also the first robot to get the citizenship as that of a human.
- World is on debate on whether to give citizenship to a robot or not? However, there is not so much priority or concern about the status of people with disabilities in different part of the world.
For Example:Nepal’s constitution is one of the most disability friendly constitutions in the world.Nepal Government have recently enacted Disability act -2018 and has already been implemented.Special Education Policy for Persons with Disabilities has been enacted.Accessible Physical Structure and Communication Service Directive for People with Disabilities 2013.
- Since 1993 AD, Nepal government, civil society, business sectors and international development partners are making various efforts for promotion of rights of persons with disabilities. We must all appreciate these efforts.
- We are also very pleased to get information from the government of Nepal that Regulations to Implement Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act and federal Policies & Action Plan for persons with disabilities are in the final stage of being enacted.
- It is also my view that, the work done by government of Nepal in education, health, employment and social security of person with disabilities is not less in comparison to other SAARC Nations.
- However, a prominent question to ask ourselves is – Have all people with disabilities around the country been able to enjoy this rights without any discrimination?
- I, myself working in the field of disability human right, often wonder why there is so much discrimination between humans ? Even a nature does not discriminate between any organisms; suns never discriminate between a rich man and a poor man. The sun shines for all equally.
- When human being uses the natural entities equally then who gave us rights to discriminate between human being? Why are people with disabilities in verge of discrimination in series of event?
ü There is a road but he /she cannot walk on the road.ü There is a school, he/she cannot reach or go.ü There is a toilet but he/she cannot use.ü There is a house with the doors closed.ü There is a book but difficult to read.ü He/she wants to be independent, they have own skill but has no opportunities.
- In the context where we are taking step by step for science and development, is it not necessary to provide these facilities and service in equitable manner to persons with disabilities also? Is it not our responsibility and duty to ensure their rights?
- Let’s think for a minute, about the kind of environment around us.
- After all the question remains- Will the development that is avoiding 10 percent of the citizen be a sustainable and prosperous development?
- The disability status of children, woman, multiple disability, mental disability, hemophilia, intellectual disability, leprosy, autism, down syndrome, muscular dystrophy remains same with little or no changes.
- The disability of slow hearing is not yet being recognized. They are not incorporated properly under the internationally recognized definition.
- The argument has not begun for hearing plus visual disability.
- And as a harsh reality, most of the disable children are out of school.
- We are in no state to tell the exact number of disable citizen in the country. we lack data and evidence.
- Various commitment has been made at National and global level but why the implementation level is very poor? This is the only question raised by person with disability all over the world.
- The main reason for this scenario is -lack of inclusive development and inclusive policies.
- After 22 days from today, a international conference is going to be held regarding the disability rights and issues, which is being organized by British government and co-organized by National disability alliance. We have gathered here for discussing the same.
- The conference is going to be held on 24thof July, which will be incorporate following issues and commitments.
- To draw attention of the world to give priority to the neglected sectors.
- Implementation and operation of National and International Commitments.
- To show practices as evidence to National and International level.
- Political commitment to responsibility and accountability.
- Data collection and correction.
- Leadership development of disabled people.
- Awareness to completely eliminate discrimination
- Inclusive education and disability friendly technological curriculum and teaching method
- Friendly environment for economic development
- Right to use latest technology
- Participants in the conference from various country’s governmental representatives, private sectors, donors and civil societies is expected to show commitments for inclusive education, employment and disability friendly inclusive development.
- Representatives from government of Nepal, should commit to consider the issue of disability as it first priority for development activities through securing social, economic, cultural and political rights of person with disability. Along with this, to make the concept of sustainable development a success, priority must be given to inclusive development.
- In addition to this, commitment for implementation of rights provided by Nepal’s constitution, recommendation given by CRPD in last July, treaty related to rights of person with disability and the indicators suggested by Sustainable development goals (SGD) and preparation of rules and regulation for the same.
- Identification of disability issue as first issue to development & rights and making all the development programs of government, NGOs and private sectors as person with disability friendly. Beside these, INGO partners must compulsorily work on disability issues and create appropriate environment & opportunity.
- When i say so, it does not mean that federation and we people working for disability issues do not have any kind of responsibility. Nepal disability federation is working on making disability friendly plans, policies and program. In federal democratic republic country, NDF is also working for census which is going to be held in 2078 to make exact estimate of person with disability.
- To indorse the commitment commenced by conference, Nepal government along with the affiliated partners are preparing for youth conference, inclusive education conference, and SAARC Summit. For this Federation is very much committed for cooperation. we civic society are the Governments supporter rather than being a competitor. Government is our guardian. Development partners, should also coordinate and corporate with civil society and government sectors work-in in field of disability whole heartedly.
Make the rights real!!!
National Federation of the Disabled – Nepal