Law and Legislation

PWDs end hunger strike after govt assurance

REPUBLICA

KATHAMNDU, Feb 15: People with disabilities (PWDs) on Saturday ended their 11-day relay hunger strike after the government and political leaders made a written commitment to include them in the Constituent Assembly (CA).

Secretary at the Prime Minister´s Office Surya Prasad Silwal signed the agreement on behalf of the government. He said the government would try its best to ensure representation of the people with disabilities in the CA.

The relay hunger strike that began on February 5 at Bhadrakali Temple in Sundhara attracted a huge number of visitors, including over 200 lawmakers and leaders of various political parties. However, as verbal assurances failed to appease the protestors, Bidhya Bhandari from CPN-UML, Minendra Rijal from Nepali Congress, Dinanath Sharma from UCPN-Maoists and Kunti Shah from RPP on Saturday reached the venue to express their party´s commitment to ensuring representation of the differently abled while nominating the remaining 26 members in the CA.

“We believe their assurances,” said Subedi.Of total of 601 lawmakers, 240 were directly elected and 335 were nominated under the proportional representation electoral system. However, not one from the disabled community has made to the CA.

“We have got it in written form now and so we would like to trust the government and the political parties. We hope they will remain honest to their words,” said Sudarshan Subedi, president of National Federation of Disabled - Nepal (NFDN). “If they still try to cheat us, we will stage fast-onto-death,” he added.

PWDs had staged hunger strike to ensure their representation in the previous CA as well. Altogether three, two from the quota of disabled and one under the PR list of CPN-UML, had made it to the previous CA.

“The country has seen massive changes in the last few years in terms of awareness and the issue of inclusion. Yet, the condition of PWDs remains the same. We are underrepresented and our representation in the CA is essential,” said Subedi.

Even though the 2011 Census puts the number of PWDs at less than three percent, NFDN claims their population exceeds 10 percent of the total population.

source: http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=69658

By: Nepal Republic Media
When: 17/2/2014

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