While here in the US, we have a wide variety of wheelchairs and accessories to choose from, it can be easy to forget that not all countries have the same sort of accessibility to such convenience.
For instance, there is a huge need for wheelchairs in Nepal. In fact, the estimated 40,000 individuals in need of a wheelchair are well aware of the shortage; many of them simply have to go without. Worse yet is that there are no real programs set in place to help and there seems to be no change in this need anytime in the near future.
The National Federation of Disabled Nepal (NFDN) is working towards some sort of solution but is having difficulty gaining any traction. According to NFDN Presdeint, Sudarshan Subedi, “The figure is so high because many people were injured during the decade-long insurgency.”
The situation gets even direr when women are considered. A study conducted in 2007 indicated that women that lived with disabilities were much more vulnerable to sexual abuse that able-bodied women. Without the aid of wheelchairs, those women had only their families to rely upon,”
There is no delusion within the NDWA or other similar Nepali organizations that access to more wheelchairs will totally solve the issues with disabilities in Nepal. Subedi is currently trying to get talks started on the opening of rehabilitation centers while also doing what he can to get more wheelchairs to those in need.
Currently, that in need must go through a lengthy application process to get a wheelchair that they can scarcely afford while wealthier individuals can easily have them imported from abroad.