Volunteer Society Nepal has established a center for physically and intellectually disabled children. Our Center is located in Baneshwor (Kathmandu) and has 15 children at present, mostly with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These previously ignored and neglected disabled individuals have now been receiving special education and physiotherapy services, as well as nutritious food such as fresh vegetables, fruits, and milk on a daily basis.
Disabled individuals in Nepal are commonly ignored, neglected, and forced to live in dark rooms because their family members feel shame at having lost prestige in the community because of them. As a result, many are dying in the same room or bed where they were born. In Nepal, disabilities are regarded as a form of punishment given by the gods; therefore having a disabled family member affects the reputation and social relations of the whole family.
Social engagement and integration is not accessible to disabled persons and they are denied basic human rights i.e. education, health care, employment etc. Persons with disabilities in Nepal live in a state of neglect and humiliations.
According to disabled persons organizations in Nepal, there are 45,000 persons with visual impairment, including blind and low vision; 600,000 persons with hearing disabilities and 300,000 persons with intellectual disabilities 90% of the persons with disabilities live in rural areas and about one third are children. The main causes of all types of disabilities in Nepal are preventable diseases; it is estimated that about half of all disabilities are caused by either disease or accident.
It is clear that the health and well being of children with disabilities is further aggravated by a range of factors: the social stigma associated with disability is very high, and as a result the health of children with disabilities is often severely neglected; they are left in squalid conditions and treatment for common childhood illnesses is not pursued nor is therapy considered.
Rates of disability are particularly high among the most marginalized communities living in isolated areas because of the lack of nearby health services and poverty.