New census reveals 647,744 people with disabilities in Nepal

Kathmandu: National Statistics Office on Sunday, startling figures have been unveiled regarding the prevalence of disabilities in Nepal. The census conducted in 2078 BS sheds light on the plight of around 647,744 individuals living with disabilities in the country. This accounts for approximately 2.2 percent of Nepal’s total population of 29,164,578.

Among the provinces, Gandaki Province emerges as having the highest prevalence of disability, with 2.9 percent of its population affected. This revelation underscores the pressing need for targeted interventions and support systems to address the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, particularly in regions where the prevalence is significantly higher.

Disabilities encompass a wide spectrum, ranging from physical disabilities to sensory impairments and mental health disorders. The census categorizes disabilities into various types, including physical disabilities, low vision, blindness, deafness, hearing impairment, speech and voice disorders, mental health or psychosocial disabilities, intellectual disabilities, genetic disorders, autism, and multiple disabilities.

Interestingly, the data highlights some gender disparities in the types of disabilities reported. Physical disabilities are more commonly observed among men, whereas low vision issues are disproportionately reported among women. These findings emphasize the importance of adopting gender-sensitive approaches in disability-inclusive policies and programs to address the unique needs of diverse populations.

As Nepal strives towards achieving inclusive development and ensuring equal opportunities for all its citizens, it is imperative to prioritize the rights and well-being of individuals with disabilities. This census serves as a crucial benchmark for policymakers, advocates, and stakeholders to formulate evidence-based strategies aimed at promoting accessibility, inclusivity, and empowerment for people with disabilities across the nation.