Difficulty Getting Services Due To Lack Of Disability-Friendly Buildings

  October 10, 2023 By: INSEC

The Government of Nepal has issued the Guidelines for Accessible Systems for Persons with Disabilities 2021 , however, due to the lack of construction of government buildings in accordance with the guidelines, people with disabilities face  problems in accessing services.

Due to the  local level buildings in the district are not disability friendly, persons with disability have to be deprived of going directly into the office and get services.

There are seven local level buildings in the district, three Municipalities and four Rural Municipalities. Newly constructed permanent level buildings are not disabled friendly. The absence of wheelchair-accessible infrastructure in the building lead to challenges for individuals with disabilities.

Suman Basel, Secretary of the Disabled Association, Dhankuta, expressed that not making  infrastructures disablity-friendly is insensitivity towards persons with disability. Basel complains that the responsible officials at the local level are insensitive  to the problems of people with disabilities.

While the ground floor rooms of the Chief, Deputy Chief, and Chief Administrative Officer in Dhankuta Municipality, Pakhribas Municipality, Chhathar Jorpati Rural Municipality, Sahidbhumi Rural Municipality, and Sangurigarhi Rural Municipality have been made disability-friendly, the upper floors lack wheelchair accessibility.

In Chaubise Rural Municipality, Mahalakshmi Municipality, the offices of the Chief, Deputy Chief, and Chief Administrative Officer lack wheelchair accessibility. Suman Basel, Secretary of the Disability Association, Dhankuta, said that the building, which was in operation from the financial year 2021-2022, is also not disabled-friendly.

Not only the administrative buildings but also the newly built ward office buildings are not disability friendly. The new ward office built by Dhankuta Municipality is not disabled friendly.

Yam Bahadur Basnet, a Central Member of the Disabled Association, pointed out that the ward offices of Dhankuta-4 and 5 do not provide disability-friendly access. He further emphasized that although the district’s local government has constructed ward office buildings, they do not meet the requirements for accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Gyan Bahadur Gurung  Chief of Pakhribas Municipality said that this matter was not taken into consideration when constructing the building. Gurung says that works on the lowest floor of the building so that persons with disabilities can meet him.

Tika Prasad Ghimire, Chairperson of the Senior Citizens’ Association in Dhankuta Municipality has raised concerns over the lack of wheelchair accessibility in large buildings. He highlighted that senior citizens face challenges when attempting to meet with relevant employees residing on higher floors.

Although the Government Has  issued Guidelines on Accessible Systems for Persons with Disabilities 2021  to use the rights and facilities provided by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Constitution of Nepal 2015, the Act on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2017 and other prevailing laws of the state, including civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights lack of its implementation results problems for persons with disabilities.

Ishwar Thapa