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Our team in Nepal welcomes new government disability committee

26 August 2020

National Disability Direction Committee

Our team in Nepal has welcomed the formation of a new government committee which includes a representative from the community of people with deafblindness.

In July 2020, The National Disability Direction Committee was formed by the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens under Section 38 of the Disability Rights Act 2017 and will be the key body to discuss all issues related to disability in the Ministry.

Alongside partners, our team in Nepal has long advocated for the formation of such a committee to oversee the implementation of the Disability Regulations passed by the Cabinet.

Committee

Among its 16 representatives, the committee includes three partners of Sense International Nepal: Rojina Shrestha (left), who is a person with deafblindness and the treasurer of the Deafblind Association Nepal and Chair of the Kathmandu Deafblind Association; K.P. Adhikari (centre), President of the National Federation of the Deaf Nepal; and Nara Bahadur Limbu (right), Director of the National Association of the Blind.

Mrs Shrestha’s appointment is the first time a person with deafblindness has sat on a high-level committee in Nepal.

The committee has various roles, which include:

  • Providing recommendations to the Government of Nepal for disability policies
  • Preparing and implementing a disability plan in line with approved policies
  • Researching equipment to promote further improvement and development in the disability sector
  • Raising awareness about disability and the rights of people with disabilities
  • Creating a Sign Language Interpreter service and developing and promoting Nepali sign language

Alison Marshall, Director of Sense International, said: “It’s fantastic that a person with deafblindness will be part of this new high-level government committee.”

We are working to improve the official definition of deafblindness for the purpose of obtaining a disability identity card. Having three advocates for the rights of people with deafblindness on the Committee will increase our influence and we will be raising this issue with the other committee members in the hope that they will support our amendment.

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Sense International started working in Nepal in January 2017. In May 2019, Sense International was awarded a three-year grant by 
Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA) to provide better health outcomes for people with deafblindness.

To find out more about Sense International’s work in Nepal, visit our Nepal page.

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Friday 6 December 2019