Kathmandu–Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun has said all should work together for the protection of people with intellectual disabilities. Inaugurating the 24th Conference of Asian Federation on Intellectual Disabilities here today on the occasion of the 28th International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Vice President Pun stressed on the need of treating people with disabilities in the same way other people are treated and supporting them in their educational and all-round development.
"People with physical disabilities can also perform very well if they got appropriate environment. The family, society and the state need to provide support to that end," he said, recalling that disabled people in the world have also been setting records in many disciplines. Noting that the Constitution of Nepal has made provision for the respect, security and participation of people with disabilities, the Vice President said it also guaranteed their participation in the public services, politics, and economic and social development as well. National Association on Intellectual Disabilities-Nepal's president Muktinath Adhikari said although people with disabilities face many challenges, they can move ahead in life like the normal people if supported by all.
On the occasion, the Federation awarded Nepal, Philippines and Singapore for their significant and successful works in the sector of people with intellectual disabilities. Vice President Pun presented the award to the Association president Adhikari.
Federation's president Sachchidananda Srivastav said the conference will last till Friday. According to him, it will dwell on the type of strategy to be adopted for the development of people with general learning disability and mental retardation.
The conference is expected to assist in bringing in the latest learning and teaching tools, technology and training methods as well as the rehabilitation methods related to intellectual disabilities in Nepal. It is hoped the conference will also help expand cooperation among the member countries.
According to the National Census conducted in 2011, two percent of the total population of the country comprises of people with disability. The World Bank and the World Health Organization's data for 2011 put the percentage of the disabled people throughout the world at 15.
Three hundred and fifty people working in this sector from Asia are participating in the conference. Thirty two experts from 14 countries will present working papers on five different topics. The conference will also issue the Kathmandu Declaration on the concluding day. Nepal will hand over the presidency to the Philippines, the new Chair of the Federation. Nepal was elected the Federation's chair in 2017.