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Disabled people facing brunt of second wave of COVID-19


Nepalnews
2021 May 22, 17:32, Bhadgaun

 Many people with disabilities in Bhaktapur district have been affected the most as a result of the prohibition order following the second wave of COVID-19. They had depended on their small scale business to support themselves and families.

Kamala Adhikari, a visually impaired person who has rented an apartment at Sanothimi in Madhyapur Thimi Municipality-2 is facing the brunt of the prohibition order. Her business has been plagued by the pandemic.

She produces incense sticks and sells them on the market. She has five family members including an eight-year-old child to feed. Her father-in-law is a cancer victim and mother-in-law has been suffering from asthma and diabetes. Her husband is also blind. She has supplied incense sticks on the market in main bazaars including in Koteshwor, New Road and Asan.

Dipak Singh, a visually impaired person, has a similar story to tell. Singh, who lives in Sanothimi, is finding it hard to support himself and family without income source. He has produced incense sticks and sold them on the market. But, his business has been hit hard due to the prohibition order.

Adhikari and Singh are only few among the many disabled persons running own enterprise whose business has been dented by the adverse impact of the pandemic. Many persons with disabilities in the area are finding difficulties to support themselves and their families without income sources.

There are around 26 families with disabilities who live in and around Sanothimi Campus. Most of them have depended on the business of producing and selling incense sticks for survival.

Deepak said visually impaired people were finding hard to eke out a living as their source of income had stopped with the implementation of prohibitory order against the pandemic.

“ I fear hunger will kills us instead of the virus,’’ he said, adding that all daily most essential goods including cooking fuel and rice were already out of stock. “ We are begging for charity from some organisations for the past few days, but none has so far come forward to help us,’’ he said.

Deepak added the pandemic and the subsequent measures taken to control it pushed the people like him to a great distress as they found no source of income to meet the daily requirement.

On one hand, they are struggling to manage a two square meal and on the other hand they are clueless how to manage the room rent. Deepak’s house owner has not so far demanded the house rent, but he does not know what will be his response if he is asked for room charge.

Kamala said she would earn up to Rs 500 each day by selling incense sticks and spend it for the survival needs of the family. "If the situation does not change, I will have no option to living on Rs 1500 I am getting monthly as the disabled allowance."

Visually impaired people have the complaints that their issues are the concerns of neither the local nor the central government. “It would be some relief if the people like me are given some help to meet our daily needs,’’ said Deepak.

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Bhaktapur disabilities second wave covid-19 hunger pandemic lockdown
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