KATHMANDU, Nov 18: "Your small donation of one rupee can transform the life of people living with disabilities," said Yam Nath Mainali, member secretary of National Disabled Fund (NDF) under the Social Welfare Council.
Mainali, who was born in Panchgachhi of Jhapa, firmly believes that contribution as small as one rupee can also help him set up a fund that will be used to provide prosthetic devices to people living with disabilities.
Mainali's conviction that everyone should do his or her part for those in need transformed into a strong determination to work for the people with disabilities after injury from electric burns forced amputation of his right hand seven years ago when he was a student of MSc (Organic Chemistry) in Tribhuvan University. Just before the accident, he had bought a private school with 40 students in Koteshwar in the capital. It was an admission time and he had climbed a pole of electricity transformer believing it to be a normal pole to hang a banner announcing admission. Electrocution caused burns on his right hand and it had to be amputated.
He was hospitalized for two months. Soon after being discharged, he appeared for interview for selection as inspector of CID; he had appeared for the exam before the accident and was selected for interview. He was rejected by the interviewees on the pretext of his disability.
His desperate search for government support went in vain as no one in the many government offices he visited seeking help seemed interested to provide him with necessary information. Meanwhile, Mainali wrote his MSc exam by his left hand three months after the accident. He passed in first division. He also completed MA in Sociology.
In early 2016, officials at the Social Welfare Council (SWC) asked him to submit his curriculum vitae. Six months ago, the Council appointed Mainali as its member-secretary, a responsibility that further motivated him to work for the people living with disabilities in the country.
Mainali is currently on the last stage of finalizing the campaign to seek one rupee donation.
"The support from the fund put together by one rupee donations can enable people who have lost their limbs to move again and consequently rehabilitate them. It will also provide them opportunities of educaiton and to gain skills to earn a living and improve their lifestyle and contribute back to the society " said Mainali, who is youngest among five brothers and has a youngest sister.
According to National Census Report 2011, around 513,312 Nepalis (1.94 percent of the total population) live with disability. Among them, 186,457 have physical disabilities; 94,765 are blind or have other visual impairment; 79,307 are deaf or have hearing impairment; 9,436 are both deaf and blind; 58,855 have speech-related problems; 30,997 are mentally disabled; 14,888 have intellectual disabilities and 38,616 have multiple disabilities.
The NDF gets Rupees 12.5 million from various sources such as Social Welfare Council, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Handicap International. The NDF needs 20 million budget annually to support 1000 to 1200 people who come seeking support to make their life easier.
"The fund is not sufficient for people with disability. So I hope this campaign will help collect fund that will benefit many people like myself. I have submitted the proposal to begin the campaign to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also the Minister for Women, Children and Social welfare. I will initiate the campaign after the PM grants the permission," he said.