World Down Syndrome Day Celebrated in Nepal

March 21, 2013
Source: Down Syndrome Society Nepal

 21 March 2013 (7 Chaitra 2069) Press release            

                                               World Down Syndrome Day

Kathmandu, Nepal - The 8th World Down Syndrome Day was celebrated today in Kathmandu amidst program organized by Down Syndrome Society Nepal (DSSN). Around 100 people gathered at the DSSN premises, in Kapurdhara, early in the morning to take out a Buddy Walk from the DSSN office to the Social Welfare Council (SWC) office in Lainchaur. The theme of the Buddy Walk was "removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for  all."

There were around 20 persons with Down Syndrome (type of intellectual disability) who actively took part in the program organized today. There were also concerned citizens from medical professions, social work, political work and concerned guardians who took part in the Buddy Walk and the book launching ceremony that took place afterwards.

While waiting for the program to be started at the SWC, due to technical difficulties, the participants mingled with celebrity Ms. Lakshmi Giri, who was also part of the celebration. There was also a short impromptu media interaction with the participants.

At the start of the program in SWC, seven students from Satyam Day Care Center performed a wonderful welcome dance. Soon after a new resource book on Down Syndrome was launched by the chief guest  former minister Asta Laxmi Shakya. Ms. Shakya commented on the usefulness and the importance of the new resource book compiled by Ms. Shila Thapa. Mrs. Shakya went further on to highlight the need to update the existing laws related to intellectual disability and disability in general.  Ms. Shakya on behalf of DSSN also felicitated NTV journalist Ms. Nita Sapkota for her effort in raising awareness about issues of persons with intellectual disability including people with Down Syndrome in Nepal. Ms. Sapkota was presented with an appreciation certificate for her devotion and work related to intellectual disability in Nepal. Pramod Mehta, vice-president of SWC, also congratulated Ms. Sapkota on her achievements, and he put forth his concerns regarding the problems faced by people with Down Syndrome and Intellectual Disability in Nepal.

Other guests present at the function were Dr. Kedar Narsingh KC, Dr. Prabha Kaini, Mr. Scott Sanford (human rights officer at the US Embassy), Mr. Bhoj Raj Shrestha (SWC member), and Ms. Anette Skomsky (Norwegian journalist). All of the guests spoke highly of the initiation and work carried out by DSSN, and put forward their views and suggestions on what could be done to guarantee the rights of people with intellectual disabilities.

The program was concluded by Ms. Shila Thapa, president of DSSN, who thanked everyone, including the guests and chief guests, for their continued support and  who showed up in the buddy walk in celebrating the World Down Syndrome Day. Ms. Thapa also requested solidarity and support from everyone present for future activities. The program at DSSN office was moderated by usha titikshu (photo journalist), and the program at SWC was moderated by Ms. Dhana Kumari Sunwar (former spokesperson of National Women Commission and parent).

Further contact
Shila Thapa
President, DSSN
Mobile no. 9851092250
Landline: 014021703, 014021761