Bright Star Society and International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) jointly organized one-day workshop on “Galvanizing, Mobilizing and Unleashing People Power for Good Governance and Disability rights”. The workshop brought NGO leaders, human-rights activists, lawyers, journalists, disability-rights activists, emerging youth leaders, campaigners and volunteers together under the single roof for a day providing opportunities to learn and share their stories of struggles and more specifically the story of disability rights movement of Nepal. 68 enthusiastic participants proactively participated in the discussion on nonviolent action and struggle for disability rights in Nepal and beyond. Our friend and international trainer, Katherine Hughes-Fraitekh, associate director at ICNC, facilitated the workshop sharing insights on good-governance, disability rights and nonviolent action.
Everybody is fighting some kind of stereotypes, and persons with disabilities are no exception. From raising awareness to overcoming different physical and attitudinal barriers, everyday, people with disabilities have to struggle with series of discriminations, inequalities and accessibility-related challenges. Disability rights movement of Nepal has brought some changes, however, the implementation to ensure disability rights and endorsing accessibility guidelines is still under the shadow. So for the first time, this workshop tried to gather many voices raised for collective cause highlighting the core ideas on good governance, nonviolent struggle and right-based approach in dealing the different issues and conditions.
This was the first international workshop BSS organized since it’s inception which accommodated 68 participants and 16 volunteers for the whole day learning environment having the delegates from the people with all kinds of disabilities and people without disabilities who were working in different developmental sectors of Nepal. Mr. Megharaj Adhikari as The language interpreter and Mr. Ram Prasad Aryal as the sign language interpreter for the people with hearing-impaired supported the program making it accessible for everyone by helping minimize the language and communication barriers. Aso in the program, Braille papers and notebooks were provided for note-taking purpose for the visually-impaired and sighted individuals.
The workshop concluded with the series of commitments from participants to take action against discrimination and barriers and to go forward in ensuring and speaking up for the rights of the persons with disabilities in Nepal.
Later, the program had a brief closing ceremony in which Pradip Kumar Rai, (Byakul Maila), the senior poet and the lyricist of National Anthem was invited and honored as the chief guest and Dale Davis, the country director of Helen Keller International was honored as a special guest. Guests and organizers distributed the certificates to the participants which were printed also in the Braille, which gave a pragmatic use of “accessibility” and also helped raise the level of awareness on Braille.