English | Dzongkha Sunday, April 11, 2021

Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan upgrades to Disabled People’s Organisation

Mar 1, 2021

The Disabled Persons’ Association of Bhutan (DPAB) is now upgraded to Disabled People’s Organisation of Bhutan. Dr Sanga Dorji, a physiotherapist led a group of people with visual impairment and formed the association back in 2010. 

He is the Chairperson of the Organisation.

He said, “There were two objectives when we first started the Association. Firstly it was to create awareness about persons living with disability to fellow disabled people and their parents. Secondly, it is to enhance and make inclusive of persons living with a disability while formulating policies and plans.”

The up-gradation according to Dr Sanga is an achievement for persons living with disabilities.

“Firstly our country is a developing country, and its physical terrain is extreme. So if not now then when? We must start progressing. We cannot reach the level of those advanced countries such as Japan, Scandinavia and the US. It might take time but if we don’t start already then our challenges will remain the same,” Dr Sanga Dorji added.

He further added that it is important to allow persons with disability to have collective representation.

With many associations catering to different needs of the persons with disabilities and working in silos, members hope that the organisation would be inclusive of different types of disabilities and work for everyone.

Dorji Phuntsho, a person living with Albinism said, “Earlier we didn’t have an association for the people living with Albinism. We were merely a part of the DPAB. We were mostly left out and now with this up-gradation, we are hopeful that we will be equally benefited.”

“I am optimistic that the organisation would benefit women living with a disability. I say this because there were only a few women with disability coming forward. The opportunities were also minimal back then. Now with the launch, we would have more responsibility and even more opportunities.” said Duptho Zangmo, who is visually impaired.

The Population and Housing Census 2017 reported that 2.1 per cent of the population, which is around 16,000, is disabled. Of that, more than 12,000 lived in the rural parts of the country.

Namgay Wangchuk, Paro

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