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Disabled likely to be excluded in CA

People with disability had lobbied relentlessly for their fair representation in the upcoming Constituent Assembly, but it has apparently come to naught.

With just ten days left for the CA election, the National Federation of Disabled - Nepal (NFDN) complained that it is in a position to say that only one person with disability could represent them in the CA - that, too, if he can garner enough votes.

โ€œDespite raising our concerns consistently, the result is not positive. The parties have not considered disabled people while fielding their candidates. Even the so-called inclusive UCPN-Maoist has kept mum,โ€ said Sudarshan Sudedi, president of the NFDN, who on Thursday filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court demanding fair representation of the disabled in the CA.

The only candidate who has a chance to make it to CA is a former president of NFDN, Birendra Raj Pokharel, according to Subedi.

โ€œBoth due to his good academic background and long affiliation with the CPN-UML which has fielded him under proportional representation system, Pokharel might make it to the CA. Or else, we may have zero representation,โ€ Subedi said.

Stating that the country needs to ensure five percent representation of the disabled in the CA as per the inclusive bill, the NFDN had carried out wheelchair rally in the capital, among other protest programs, several times in the past few months.

Also because Nepal is a signatory to the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities-2006, it cannot remain indifferent toward the concerns of the disabled, NFDN asserted.

According to general secretary of the NFDN, Tika Dahal, it is not fair that even major political parties have ignored disabled people in the election.

She added that the NFDN tried to get more disabled candidates fielded in the election but even the Election Commission did not provide the clear picture. However, the NFDN is not going to give up and it will keep on pressurizing for maximum representation of the disabled in the CA.

โ€œWe hope that at least the three major parties will give chance to the disabled. And that should not be for name sake; we want such candidates who can raise their voice for us, put the points clearly and take effective action for the betterment of all.โ€

According to the census of 2011, 1.9 percent of the population is living with some kind of physical disability.

However, the World Health Organization counts them to be over 10 percent.

โ€œThe disparity between the census and the data of WHO itself reflects how we are being treated in the country.

Additional Information

Country: Nepal
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Source: IDA_CRPD_Forum
When: 29/11/2013

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