Words by Smiley Team
14-year-old Sandip was 14 years old when he lost his left leg in a road traffic accident in Chitwan, Nepal.
After this, he dropped out of school – having limited mobility left him feeling isolated and unmotivated. "I was ashamed to go out or go to school – I didn’t see myself going anywhere as I couldn’t walk,” he said. “As a result, I started staying home and cutting myself off from the outside world.”
Sandip was fitted with a prosthetic limb and, over the course of two weeks, received counselling and gait training to develop his strength and give him the confidence to move around independently.
Sandip’s story is one of many supported by a project which is part of the Inclusive Futures Programme; an ambitious six year disability-inclusive initiative, funded by UK aid. Its vision is to create a world where everyone has the same opportunities to go to school, access quality healthcare, and claim their right to work through informal and formal employment.
Ramesh Baral, inclusion officer for Humanity & Inclusion, describes the transformation he saw in Sandip: “Initially when we met Sandip, he wasn’t convinced he wanted to receive the rehabilitation care – he didn’t trust anyone.” But through counselling, they were able to show Sandip the opportunities available to him to realise his potential.
Sandip has since returned to studying and wants to complete his education. “I must study hard so I can get a job and become independent. I have to turn my dreams into reality,” Sandip said. “Training to walk with my new limb is hard work and sometimes painful, but I am confident that after it all, it will be OK.”
Through the UK aid-funded Inclusive Futures programme, they work to tackle issues to ensure children with disabilities, including those with multiple disabilities and other learning support needs, can go to school.
They also: Work with local authorities and organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) to improve how they collect and use data so they can identify children that need support; provide assistive devices and technology; train teachers in inclusive teaching methods; and support the use of inclusive assessment tools.
SUPPORT: Sightsavers is the lead charity partner of Inclusive Futures. Its mission is to protect sight and fight for disability rights. Find out more.
VOLUNTEER: Are you looking to volunteer, to strive towards a world with disability inclusion? Find out the volunteering opportunities with Humanity & Inclusion.