The suffering of the blind: Discrimination everywhere
Simara: 22-years-old Samiya Parveen of Birgunj is blind. Samiya, who is studying in Class 10 in Model Secondary School in Sarlahi Harpur, is currently preparing for SEE. But her journey to SEE is unforgettable for her due to being blind.
Samiya, who came to participate in the program organized by Identity Nepal for the educational and economic empowerment of disabled women in Simara, raised the issue of discrimination that she had to face at school instead of elsewhere due to her visual impairment. Tears did not stop in Samiya’s eyes when she remembered the discrimination she had to face by the school teacher because she was blind.
She went to cry so loud and said ‘sometimes it is better not to read than to read’. The participants of the program were shocked by his expression. Samiya poured out her pain. I am worried about SEE. I told the teacher several times that I had to arrange a writer (to write down what the blind said)’ Samiya added, ‘but the teacher says why do you need a writer, you will just pass.’
According to the answer given by the teacher, Samiya’s morale is declining. She says, ‘If this discrimination happens from the teacher, what can we expect from others?’ Samiya said that she has experienced such discrimination for years in a school that is a temple that spreads the flame of education.
We cannot write like sighted students. We find it uncomfortable to read and write, Samiya said, but we want to read for our future. But how can we move forward when there is such discrimination in the school?
Sabita Sah, who participated in the program along with Samiya, said that discrimination against blind and disabled students is very sad. Sah said that when students with disabilities go to school, the first thing they have to do is face discrimination at school. Sah says that not being treated like other disabled students is also mistreatment of disabled people.
There are no schools in all areas where only students with disabilities attend. “Wherever there is a school, you go to that school,” Sah said, “but there is discrimination in the school itself.” Disabled students are not admitted as much as possible. If admission is taken, it is discriminated.
Sah said that people’s representatives should think seriously about the rights of students with disabilities in the educational sector under the local level. Sah suggested to the people’s representatives to start the campaign ‘Save the daughter, teach the daughter’ along with the campaign ‘Save the disabled, teach the disabled’. She said that if you distribute laptops to disabled students like you distribute bicycles to others, it will help them in their studies.
Ikshya KC, President of Identity Nepal, said that when she entered Madhes as a daughter-in-law, she came up with an organization that works for disabled people rather than dowry. She brought the same organization as a dowry and said that the same organization will conduct a campaign on the discrimination against the disabled citizens and their rights in Madhes.
“I am visually impaired, my husband is also visually impaired,” KC said. Now my campaign will focus on ending discrimination against citizens with disabilities in Madhes.
Representatives of the local level of the district also participated in the program. Among the participants, Bhola Prasad Adhikari, Deputy Chief of Jitpursimara Sub-Metropolitan City, said that the education of students with disabilities will be given priority. The Deputy Chief Officer, who is also the former Central Center Coordinator of the National Disabled Federation, said, ‘There is no discrimination against people with disabilities and students within their municipality. If so, let us know. We will correct it. ‘
Similarly, Nijgadh Municipality Deputy Chief Sommaya Thing said that her municipality has included various programs in the budget for disabled citizens. She pledged to cooperate with organizations active for the rights of disabled citizens to move forward in building a disability-friendly municipality.
In the event, Ganga Wagle, the president of Nepal Handicapped Service Association Bara, said that not only the students but also the visually impaired teachers had to face discrimination in schools. She said that it is sad that the quota set for visually impaired teachers will be left vacant in the school, but that they do not show interest in appointing visually impaired teachers.
Dhanprasad Bajgai, the former president of Disabled Association Bara, said that the mistreatment of physically challenged and visually impaired people in public vehicles is humiliating. He expressed the pain of people with disabilities riding in public transport leaving the vehicle on the road. Bajgai said that the police should show interest to stop such activities. Yuvraj Timilsina, Deputy Superintendent of Police of District Police Office, Simra, said that if there is any information about the abuses during such trips, action will be taken.
Ramkshetri Prasad Kurmi, President of Parwanipur Village, who participated in the program, said that the village will organize various incentive programs for citizens with disabilities. Kurmi said that he was saddened to hear about the sufferings and hardships faced by people with disabilities and said that such activities will not happen in his municipality.
Provincial Assembly Member Shobha Lama, President of Bishrampur Village Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Uday Prasad Yadav of Devtal Village, Central President of Blind Association Khomraj Sharma, Primary Health Center Dr. Deepak Giri, President of Blind Association Bara Krishna Timilsina, President of Jitpursimara city Industry and Commerce Association Mohan Sharma and others have made institutional commitment to end the discrimination against disabled citizens.