Not Dis But Ability

June 9, 2014 , by Samridhi Goyal, Leave your thoughts
Not Dis But Ability » My Dreams Mag
You fall and then you right yourself again because hope is eternal. This is the one thing I take away from meeting these wonderful people.

You can fly without wings, you just need the right amount of push and a little bit of steering is what I believe. For, honestly there is no glass ceiling and it is only us who define what our limitations are. This holds true for people with special needs too. It is not their lack of well being but the lack of social validation, equal opportunity and guidance that holds them back. However there are some who with will power and unfathomable courage and determination have set standards high and got things going for them.



As she greeted me with flair, a studiously positioned spectacles with innocent sparkling eyes in the backdrop, at first she gives you a deceptive look of a charming girl but yes I stood glaring at her and draw myself to a conclusion, how wonderful lady she has been.

Amrita Gyawali

Amrita Gyawali was just three when she lost her parents and two siblings in an accident on their way back to Nepal from Lucknow. The terrible mishap left her all alone with a broken spinal cord. She was confined to a wheel chair. A normal life would have given up in despair but she was a fighter, a girl of her valiance.


After spending few days at relatives, she was brought to SOS Children’s Village in Jorpati. And from there on her story of reincarnation unfolded but it was never going to be an easy ride. Amrita went to school but her ailing health would force her to frequently miss classes. Classes at the top floors would even test her at times but this was not an end of her story. Rather she was a story teller of a lady who denied adversities.


She managed to do reasonably well in school and would study at home and appear for her exams. She got good grades in school and it was now about rising up from her own rank. During one of her higher school practical photography classes at the zoo, her mind was struck by a bitter fact which was quietly overlooked. The overlooking transformed her. The toilet at the zoo was unfriendly towards people with special needs creating problems that hardly had any solution. And the zoo was not the only stop to have such problem — there were more public places that is as inconvenient.


She avoided eating food and drinking water before setting out and it was just the avoidance of toilet. Curious to know about how many toilets in the valley could accomodate people with special needs, she conducted a study and to her dismay found that all out of sixty public toilets were not for them.


She wanted change. And advocacy in this cause with a group of friends was just a beginning which also diverted her towards her participation in many personal and menstrual hygiene programs by Water Aid. Amrita began working as an Equity and Inclusion Officer at Water Aid around eight months back and has since then left her former home at the SOS hostel in Naxal and begin living independently.


She has modified a few things around the house to fit her needs and is able to do all the chores on her own. At the SACOSAN Conference at SAARC Summit last October, she put forward a presentation about the challenges that are faced by physically challenged people. Her presentation has forced the government authorities to take the steps needed in the way forward. The girl who lost her family and was left with broken spinal cord was a victor now. She recently inaugurated a disabled friendly public toilet. Amrita has already graduated in Sociology and Psychology and now she hopes to study further to open different avenues in her life.


When the recent road construction began, she was among a group of people who pressed for the need of better roads for physically challenged people. She is elated when she could use the toilet at the Civil Mall — a place where she enjoyed a movie without stress after ages.


She also ventured into modeling for a while when her pictures were up on Cybersansar in 2010 thanks to her close friend Roma Karki who helped her. She modeled in a show for a fashion institute and also did an advertisement for a clothing store. She also loves to cook food, feed and entertain people in her leisure time.

Amrita Gyawali



He met me by a temple in Bhaktapur and led me to his safe haven where we sat down for a chat. A man with garbled speech and awkward gait and walk, 37-year old Prem Krishna Prajapati stands among a few people who could be as enthusiastic as him.


Born in Madhyapur Thimi, he is a victim of a Moderate Cerebral Palsy cause by a bad bout of fever. Unfortunately despite being well off, his parents were not very keen to aid help with his issues. A savior then arrived in form of Babu Krishna Ranjit, Principal of Manav Vidyagriha for mentally challenged children at Bhaktapur.

Prem Krishna Prajapai

Ranjit made him walk at the age of 10 or 11 following an extended course of physiotherapy. His current state was then followed by gaining the oratory power which he developed with the progression of time and his training in sports began. Basic reading and writing skills apart from different vocational trainings made Prem Krishna an all rounder.


The roller coaster ride of his life made Prem Krishna a para-athlete. He participated in the Special Games and National Para-Olympics competing in different spots disciplines that included shot put, football and running. He also had a shot at Boccia Games for CP patients. Currently he is a board member of the national Para-Olympics Committee and also involves himself in setting up new divisions of Boccia Games in different villages and towns.


On the road to advocacy, Prem Krishna delivered a speech at a Japan conference in 2003 and recently he went to Norway representing Nepal in International Inclusion Conference. Currently, he is the President of Association for Self Advocacy in Madhyapur Thimi, which organizes various awareness programs for the benefit of physically challenged in the schools of the area.

Prem Krishna Prajapati

Prem Krishna doesn’t belong to the rank of people who have complaints. The journey of his life has made him firmly believe that a physically challenged person can be well integrated into the society if given the right opportunities. As he bids farewell to me I can only wish that I had the strength of character that he does.

For the future given the right support he wants to start a cottage industry specializing in various crafts he also hopes to assist his family in their business of heater repair. 




Single amputee Roma Neupane hardly gave me any impression that there was something wrong with her when she greeted me with a pretty smile and sat down with an ease. She speaks candidly about the insensitivity of people who refuse to let her take the seat meant for physically challenged people. She just dislikes to wear the artificial legs due to summer heat.


Born in Itahari, Sunsari district, Roma Neupane’s leg was amputated after an accident she met at the age of eight. Her father always wanted her to do well in studies so that she could be independent. Her vibrant personality has made her many acquaintances and Chiranjivi Pokharel was one of them who changed her fortune.

Roma Neupane

After a meeting at the a wedding ceremony in the community, Pokharel encouraged Roma to begin a new chapter of her life in the capital with an assurance of assistance. On the back of Pokharel’s assurance, she boarded a bus to Kathmandu after finishing 10th grade and rest has been a story. Pokharel enrolled her into computer training and sewing classes at Kupondole but that hardly gave her bread and butter. A friend of Roma spotted her dancing at a picnic. Her moves were enough to entice her friend who approached officials at the Para-Olympics committee for including her in a performance at a cultural show at Pragya Bhawan. The officials agreed and she got the first pay-cheque of her life – Rs 800 for her first performance of life. After several bouts of performances in an ordinary looking schedule, she caught the eye of dance teacher Keshav Sapkota who agreed to groom Roma to enhance the her dancing art.


In a cultural event, the Ambassador of Israel to Nepal invited her to Israel to get a prosthetic leg fitted. Roma was now a fittest dancer after her first foreign trip. She has since then performed in Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Kuwait, Dubai and different European countries, limbless Roma is now an inspiration to those with both limbs.

Roma Neupane

Roma decided to live a conjugal life with the man who helped her redeem herself, Pokharel. The couple now runs an organization VAD Nepal (Volunteers Association for Disabled Nepal) which aims at providing training to various medical professionals in patient care and management. They are also looking forward to provide services of artificial leg at a low or nil cost in near future.




Amidst a metallic and glassy interior of the Nepal Byayam Mandir peeps out a muscular man who works out really well making fun of his own crutches that have been supporting him for so long. Apparently Purushottam Prajapati had a gland growth in his back since the time he was just a child. He had an operation to remove the gland but the surgery left him with a shrunk in his one leg. Purushottam somehow managed to pass the 10th grade under an influence of her motivational mother but back of the mind the limb deficiency was taking toll. Yes he quit his study.

Purushottam Prajapati

To while around the time, Purushottam embarked on hiking and trekking with his supportive and helpful friends that resulted in body ache and tiresome times. The resulting effects of the tiring excursions pushed him to join the Nepal Byayam Mandir — the pioneers of Nepali bodybuilding — which helped him live a healthy and muscular life. One of the board members of the gym, Narayan Pradhan encouraged him to take up bodybuilding and he seriously did it.


Purushottam has so far exhibited his body at Dharmashree, the national bodybuilding championship, along with other programmes . One will decipher him as a role model with his pictures in the hoarding board at Babar Mahal. For a steady source of income he runs a shop of metal weapons apart from involving himself in social works such as drinking water distribution at his locality. An active participant in country’s phase wise revolutions, Prushottam Prajapati is an example set for every life.

Purushottam Prajapati


We as normal people are occupied by the dissatisfaction over the things that we don’t have. The thing that we can’t buy, we don’t get at the demands of our whims and desires. We complain and whine our passing precious moments of the day in disappointments about our infinite wants, discontent with our job, irreconcilable feelings of sadness about our attire or shoes. But we hardly realize that what we have been longing for vainful things that carries no value for people like little lady or the macho man.

For these people each new day is a new episode of life trying to hold onto something which may not even exist. When they step out into the society there are whispers and stares behind their back. The only fight for them has been the maintenance of their dignity and prove they are worthwhile. They have been victimized of a poor inhumane through their physical challenges are the result of their past sins. Our granted activities like articulation, dressing up and even posing a proper way might be a huge ordeal for them. For them the challenges span beyond the frivolities and vanity in life. They don’t want our pity but compassion and understanding. Its time for us to take heed from them and be thankful for the small mercies that life has bestowed upon us.

You fall and then you right yourself again because hope is eternal. This is the one thing I take away from meeting these wonderful people.



Text by: Samridhi Goyal

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