Rehab project brings hope to quake victims

By Binita Subedi

Occupants of a home for the disabled that was destroyed by Nepal’s earthquake now have a roof over their heads - the brand new Disabled Service Centre in Kathmandu.
The building, one of ICA Nepal’s rehabilitation projects, is located in Goldhunga, Balaju. It has six rooms, a training hall and can accommodate up to 25 people. There are separate dorms for men and women, a toilet, a kitchen and an office.

The inmates said they lost all hope after the quake hit their old shelter last April. “It almost completely damaged the place,” said one of them, looking up from her weaving that brings her a small income. “And even before that, the house was leaky and cold, affecting us both physically and mentally.”

“The new house has granted us a new life,” said Mr Lalit Shahi. The sense of physical wellbeing and mental stability it provides is motivating, he added. The community of 20 earns an income through activities such as  making candles, purses and chairs out of sticks and nylon strings.

The centre was built with funds from ICA Australia and other organisations. It was inaugurated in November by Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Chandra Prakash Mainali. The event, a milestone for ICA Nepal, included high tea and a dance and music performance. The star of the show, appropriately, was a disabled guest. One-legged dancer Neelam Dhungana captured everyone’s attention by showing that disability need not be a barrier to fulfilled living.

Binita Subedi is a public relations officer for ICA Nepal. (subedibinita93@gmail.

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