A safe home for the disabled

By Mohan Bahadur Karki

Among the rehabilitation projects that ICA Nepal is involved in is the construction of a new facility for an organisation providing accommodation and vocational training for people with disabilities in Goldhunga, Balaju, in Kathmandu.

The Disabled Service Centre (DSC) was damaged by the earthquake and is in danger of being reduced to rubble by the persistent aftershocks. It was set up two years ago by Mr. Chandra K.C, who also has physical disabilities. Although DSC is a poor organization struggling to manage its basic expenses, it provided shelter to 20 people from poor and remote villages who had been abandoned by their families for various reasons.

Now that the Centre is damaged, the residents spend their nights on a tomato farm, a five-minute walk away, without proper bedding or a tarpaulin cover.

At the instigation of ICA Nepal, the local community has provided a 5476 sq.ft plot of land for the new facility. DSC will have to pay the landowner NPR20,000 (US$190) annually for five years. As it cannot afford to pay the rent currently, ICA Nepal will pay the lease amount for the next three years.

The estimated cost of the project is US$25,000, half of which is being borne by ICA Australia. Some generous people from India and Nepal are also helping to support the project.

The house, built to resist earthquakes, is nearing completion. It can accommodate 20 people and has a hall for training activities, three rooms, four bathrooms and four toilets. There will also be a small kitchen garden outside.

Mohan Bahadur Karki, who has been with ICA Nepal for more than 10 years, is overseeing the construction of the DSC facility. The photographs were also taken by him.

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