Disability in Humla

In places like Humla where life is difficult even for people with no disability, one can only imagine the living conditions of people with disabilities. It is extremely difficult for disabled children to access education resulting in a high illiteracy rate for people with disabilities. The Nepalese culture with its religious and superstitious beliefs is not helpful when it comes to the inclusion and integration of people with disabilities. Disability is seen as a curse or a punishment for family sins. “It is embarrassing for a family to admit having a disabled child. Disabled people are not regarded as contributors to society and therefore many children with disabilities don’t receive any education.

Not only in remote areas like Humla but also in major cities like Kathmandu, a child with a disability often ends up on the streets. According to a report by the Minister of Health and Population, almost half of all Nepalese children under the age of five who do survive are malnourished, a condition that causes physical and mental disabilities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 15% of the world’s population has some type of disability. The extensive survey was carried out in 2010 by the Women Development Office Humla to understand the overall situation of people with disabilities in Humla.

The statistics were compiled and analyzed by HEAD Nepal in 2011. According to the survey and our analysis of the data, there are in total 1595 people with different disabilities in the entire district. Among them, the biggest group with a total number of 567 is physically challenged. There are 351 people with a hearing impairment, 267 people who are visually impaired, 145 persons with multiple disabilities, 105 people with a speech impairment, and 102 people who are intellectually handicapped. Additionally, there are 160 people with different disabilities whose ages were not identified and 23 people with unidentified disabilities. When we look at the age categories of the persons with disabilities, there is a total of 444 children with different disabilities aged between 0 and 18. Similarly, there are 514 adults with disabilities aged between 19 and 45 and 454 persons with disabilities aged above 45.

Statistical Report on People With Disability in Humla 2012:

Head Nepal finally prepared a comprehensive statistical survey report on people with disabilities in the Humla district on the 25th of September 2012. This report presents a summary of results from the Survey of all types of People With Disability, conducted by the Woman Development Office throughout Humla district in 2010 and later a follow-up survey conducted in 8 VDCs in 2011 and in 4 VDCs in 2012 by Himalayan Education And Development (HEAD Nepal) with the financial support from ISIS Foundation Simikot. This survey report is compiled, verified, analyzed, and publicized by HEAD Nepal Simikot Humla. The primary objective of the survey was to understand the overall condition of the people with disabilities and their developmental status in the district. The survey report includes information on family, birth, disability, rehabilitation services, education, employment, profession/occupation, skill-building/vocational training, and attitude of society, family and friends, etc.

The summary of the findings of the survey is as follows:

In 2010, a disability survey conducted by Woman Development Office Humla, total numbers of 1425 people with disabilities are reported, and later in 2011, a follow-up survey in 8 different VDCs carried out by HEAD Nepal shows that the numbers of people with disabilities are increased with the total number of 1597. Again after a year in July 2012 a follow-up survey in another 4 VDCs was conducted by Head Nepal and the result tells that there is a total of 1801 people with different disabilities throughout the district.

 Among these 1801, 1030 or (57.19%) are male and 771 or (42.80%) are female persons with disabilities. When we come to the figures of different types of disability, the persons with physical impairment is the highest number with 660 or 36.65%. Similarly, there are 465 or 25.89% persons with hearing impairment, 298 or 16.55% persons with visual impairment, 189 or 10.49% persons with multiple disabilities, 73 or 4.05% persons with speech impairment, 54 or 2.99% persons with intellectual disability, 50 or 2.78% persons with mental disability and 12 or 0.666297% persons with deafblindness in the whole district.

Similarly, there are 228 or 12.66% PWDs with general disability and 773 or 42.92% with a medium disability, and this highest figure of the class of disability. correspondingly 520 or 28.875% PWDs are seriously defected with their disability and 280 or 15.52% PWDs are severely disabled which is the most critical condition. 39.89% or (720) people with disabilities are reported that the cause of their main health condition (disability) was accident or injury, 35.74% or (637) that it was by birth, 7.56% or (136) persons with disabilities didn’t know the cause of their disability. Similarly, 6.13% or (111) persons with disabilities that it was a disease, illness, and 10.47% or (197) people caused their disability due to poor hygiene, intermarriage, malnutrition, lack of obtaining vaccination, age factor, heredity, alcohol/drugs, etc.

Comparing the 27 VDCs and territories using data which have been gathered from each VDCs, Thehe, Shrinagar, Kalika, Syanda have the highest disability rates with (136 or 7.55%, 117 or 6.49%, 116 or 6.44%, and 109 or 6.05%) respectively while Madana, Saya, Melchham, and Khangalgaun VDCs have the lowest rates with (22 or (1.22%), 30 or 1.66%, 30 or 1.66%, and 36 or 2%) respectively. People with disabilities age between 0-18 years are reported the highest rates with 562 or 31.20%, 541 or 30.04% are age between 19-40. 930 or 51.63% are unmarried and 755 or 41.92% are married, 904 or 50.19% belong to Kshetri, 530 or 29.42% belong to different ethnic groups, 233 PWDs are Dalit and 134 are Bahun.

When we come across education and profession, 24.73% have got an opportunity to both formal and informal education that includes common literate to university level, 617 or 34.25875% PWDs are engaged with different kinds of profession/occupation including farming, housework, business, job holder/laborer, etc. Similarly, 90 or 4.99% of people with disabilities have access to skill-building/vocational training and 608 or 33.76% are reported to have participated in social/cultural activities such as party/ritual, festival, sports, cultural program visiting relatives, etc. The information has revealed that 624 or (34.65%) PWDs) are reported to have a positive attitude and 1177 or (65.35%) are reported to receive negative responses from their family members, friends, and society.

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the HEAD Nepal office at Simikot 3 Humla or call on 977-087-680216 or write an e-mail to head@headnepal.org