Disability- physical or mental, brings out strange reactions in Nepal. Mostly negative, unfortunately.
Some see it as a curse, result of past life’s sin,and there are some who say it’s how the fate decided- divine injustice. Very few see them as equals, human beings with feelings and rights- just bit different.
This attitude on disability has meant a severely restricted life for those affected. The country lacks infrastructure to support and nurture the disabled, there are limited education and employment opportunities, and rights of the disabled are not prioritized.
Children suffer the most. Reports of disabled children locked up in a room by patents, chained to a shed, are distressingly common. Jhamak Kumari, the brilliant author, also suffered because of her disability. As a child, she was neglected by her family, harassed by neighbors and no effort was made to educate her.
Denying disabled children education is perhaps the greatest injustice against them. Human Rights Watch has more on Nepal’s failure in making sure that disabled children have access to education and learning support.