Ram has used a wheelchair for three years, since he was injured in a bus accident. Nepalese society tends to shun disabled people, viewing them as incapable of taking part in daily life.
If we remain confined within a room, society will never acknowledge our presence, so we must go out and show the world what we are capable of. Only then will we be able to make a difference. I believe that my journey will remind and motivate policy makers to prioritise disabilityRam Bahadur Tamang Disability campaigner, trainer and Livability associateMotivated by the attitudes to disability that he experienced, Ram took on an extraordinary challenge this year – to show Nepal that disabled people should be seen and heard. He embarked on a 230-mile, 26-day wheelchair ‘yaatra’ across Nepal, a traditional pilgrimage that can be a form of protest.
Ram tackled mountainous roads and tracks with buses passing at high speed, often breathing in heavily polluted air. During his trek, he spoke at 21 hospitals and community centres, raising awareness of disability issues and inspiring spinal injury patients he met.
Ram works as a vocational trainer and campaigner with Livability’s partner – the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre. Ram says. ‘We have been advocating for accessibility and disability rights, but merely speaking up has not seemed to make a significant difference. I believe that my journey will remind and motivate policy makers to prioritise disability.’