Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Program in Province No. 1, Nepal has been initiated amid a grand inauguration ceremony organized by the Ministry of Social Development on January 27, 2020. The Honorable Chief Minister, Sherdhan Rai, inaugurated the program in the presence of the Minister for Economic Affairs and Planning, Minister for Social Development and other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in the Province.
The inauguration ceremony marks the formal beginning of the program which is a joint venture of the Provincial Government, local governments and Karuna Foundation Nepal. The program aims to prevent avoidable disabilities in newborns and children and rehabilitate persons with disabilities through strengthened communities. It works directly with women of reproductive age, children under ten years of age and persons with disabilities and their families, focusing on an array of health and Community Based Rehabilitation interventions.
The first stage of the program begins this year with 27 (rural) municipalities coming on board to implement the program. Over the course of the next four years, the plan is to have all 137 (rural) municipalities in the Province implementing the program, reaching over 100,000 persons with disabilities, over a million women and 800,000 children under ten years of age.
A symbolic beginning of this province-wide program, the ceremony consisted of elements that lie at the heart of the program. As a reflection of the prevention component, a pregnant woman and a newly married couple were provided with an information card and materials to aid a safe motherhood and healthy family planning. Amir Bomjan, a talented youth with disability, wowed the audiences with his live painting and singing skills. National Award winning writer, Jhamak Ghimire, and World Wheelchair Traveler, Tek Bahadur Karki, were honored for their contributions in raising the spirits of the people through their work. In addition, 18 children with moderate to severe disability received wheelchairs to ease their mobility. A highlight of the event was the Ministers and elected leaders of (rural) municipalities signing on a commitment to make public infrastructures accessible for all in Province No. 1.
The inauguration ceremony of the Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Program was a huge success as it held a promise for a better future and a call to action for everyone involved.