“Inclusive Nepal” is my vision where all the fundamental freedom are guaranteed and respected for all its citizen, giving them full access to resources, and promoted justice and opportunity. Each of the local governments are committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination, making entirely the inclusive community engaging all citizens in decision making processes that affect their lives. The constitution of Nepal eliminates prejudging people by nationality, gender, religion, culture, ethnicity, race, skin color, physical condition, sexual orientation etc. Despite the welcoming provisions mentioned in the constitution, the elected house of representative and the provincial parliament missed the representation of marginalized group particularly persons with disabilities. The reason behind such exclusion is due to lack of disability inclusion in representation cluster of the act concerning election of house of representative and provincial parliament through proportional electoral system. It is essential to have mandatory provision of equal representation by all groups at decision-making levels. The innovative solution for political participation of persons with disabilities has been a prime agenda for the disability community in Nepal whereas several political parties have recognized persons with disabilities as their sisterhood organisation however it is not promising following article 29 of CRPD for rights to political participation.
Majority of marginalized group are facing complex and interconnected crises of humanitarian disparity today, including the shocks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, crises in climate change, all pose humanitarian challenges an unprecedented economic crisis which is not only in the Nepalese circumstances however to the global arena.
In most areas of life, women and girls face many barriers resulting from the pervasive challenges by poverty and gender and disability-based discrimination, which hinder access to equal opportunities for education, employment, and social justice. Vulnerability to violence also increases significantly, especially among women with intellectual disabilities and deteriorated psychosocial condition.
The global observance of 2022 International Day of Persons with Disabilities commemorated around the overarching theme of innovation and transformative solutions for inclusive development. From the perspectives of development actors, it should be mandatory to follow article 32 of the CRPD obligating governments to ensure that all persons with disabilities are part of their cooperation programs, including their international development endeavors. Disability inclusive development philosophy thus draws on such international disability rights framework and makes explicit the participation of persons with disabilities in development initiatives.
As Nepal is embarking towards a state of developing Nations, Inclusive Futures should be embraced through a model of inclusive development where persons with disabilities are equally mainstreamed in state process. In realizing that, Inclusive education in schools is focused with an aim of scaling it up building understanding which is made mandatory that all can Learn Equally, bridging existing gap between schools and their local communities. Most of the Parents] realize that if their children will be given reasonable accommodation at schools, they intent to enrolled them. The Goal 4 of Sustainable Development agenda of Leaving No One Behind (LNOB) mentions the quality and inclusive education which is a core element of inclusive development. The linkages between employment, knowledge and skills required to access employment in an innovative, rapidly changing technological landscape to all and how assistive technologies can increase accessibility to employment and mainstream persons with disabilities and those living in remote landscape. It is yet an apprehension that limited progress has been achieved in the employment of persons with disabilities, eliminating disability-based discrimination in the labour market.
The Government should demonstrate its commitment to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities by investing in innovative programmes, which could constitute practical steps to enhance their participation. The goal of ending extreme poverty cannot be achieved without disability inclusive development. The theory of inclusive development recognizes and is responsive to the intersection of disability with other drivers of discrimination, such as gender, ethnicity, religion, age, and national or social origin, which can compound exclusion and disadvantage. The International disability community welcomes the fact that in some areas technological progress has gone beyond expectations in the past decade and recognizes that innovation can be a powerful tool for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and in the workplace. It can also contribute to reducing inequalities when care is taken to make its design inclusive. However, these innovations are not yet available and accessible to everyone with disabilities, and infrastructure also needs to be adequate to ensure broad distribution.
Inclusive module is inspired by the equal opportunity, where experts predict that technology will become a key driver of the economic prospects. After graduating from college, the young people will be set to launch their careers in ICT as such the employers will have an increasing pool of talent youth with disabilities.
Most often, in moments of crises, people in vulnerable situations such as persons with disabilities are the most excluded and left behind. In line with the central premise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “leave no one behind”, it is crucial for governments, public and private sectors to collaboratively find innovative solutions engaging persons with disabilities to make the world a more accessible and equitable place, embracing my vision of Inclusive Nepal.
Disability-inclusive development thus should be facilitated and implemented in multilateral and multisectoral partnerships with governments, development partners, the private sector, and civil society to raise awareness and leverage impact. The foremost condition for guaranteeing inclusive Nepal is the transformation towards Inclusive communities, welcoming to all the genders with diverse groups of people, including, but not limited to, senior citizen, youth, children, ethnic minority, immigrants, persons with disabilities, people experiencing mental health challenges, and low-income populations. It is not that difficult to do. Being open-minded leads to inclusiveness. In other words, it just means not thinking them in terms of destitute by their fate, after all, only individuality is real; and the only genuine unambiguous classification is human diversity as a whole.
Birendra Raj Pokharel
Mr. Birendra Raj Pokharel (PhD), a person with visual disability, led the disability movement embracing Human Rights and inclusive development. He is engaged in several research on inclusive Education and Human Rights and has been awarded with several International prizes including Social Service Award 2012 (Nepal), Holman prize-2020 (USA), Zero Project-2016 (Austria), ABC Excellence Award-2016 (UK).