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Disability-friendly Jorpati

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
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Keshab Thapa

Pic: Keshab Thapa

From the Nepali Press

Gokarna Gautam in Nepal (17-23 July 2016)

It is challenging to find any house in the Jorpati area that has not rented out rooms to disabled persons. The owners do not belittle individuals with physical disabilities, and instead openly welcome them as renters of rooms.

These individuals feel cared for, and have received immense generosity and support from the locals and local agencies in myriad ways. A common refrain is that they have never had to endure any unkindness or insults even after living there for years.

Polio patient Chabiram Pokharel, 41, was admitted to Nepal Disabled Association (NDA)’s Khagendra New Life Home in Narayantar, Jorpati when he was just six years old. After he turned 18, he rented a place in Jorpati and has lived there all his adult life. “I reckon that because of Khagendra New Life Home, Jorpati locals are extremely supportive and love us. I can assure you that Jorpati is a model disability-friendly place in Nepal,” said Pokharel, who is a central committee member of NDA.

Rekh Bahadur Karki, 45, who became paralysed due to a spinal cord injury, has also been living in Narayantar for the last 17 years. He never wants to leave Jorpati. “I have never felt more secure anywhere else. As a result of the assistance and kindness I receive, I keep forgetting that my lower body is not functioning.”

According to NDA, approximately five thousand handicapped persons live in the Jorpati area, with over 300 of them being wheelchair users.

NDA has had a key role in the treatment of persons with disabilities in Jorpati. Locals say that they interact with and become close to the individuals, and the strong bonds lead to an outpouring of compassion and affection for them.

Jorpati has also benefited from the presence of NDA, as the construction of the organisation’s building has spurred development in the locale.  The association, which is now under Gokarneshwor municipality-13, was formally established 47 years ago and relocated to Jorpati in 1975.

A local, Rameshwor Acharya, remarked: “The association has played a remarkable role in the development of Jorpati, and has sparked the special love that locals and stakeholders show towards people with disabilities.”

 

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