Meet Radhika from Nepal, disabled yet able

10 Feb 2015
Before I was able to open up my shop, I was very dependent on others and always had to ask others for money. Now, I am independent and can manage on my own. I have also noticed that my family and the people in my village have more respect for me now that I am a business woman. Their attitudes to me and my disability have changed and they are now increasingly seeing me for who I am, not simply for my disability, explains Radhika from Baglung in Nepal.

Development advisor Anja Stokkan from the Atlas Alliance secretariat went for a visit to Nepal. Radhika was one of many inspiring people she met on her journey. Here is her story.

Six months after Radhika was born she caught a bad fever and could suddenly no longer walk. It is likely to assume that she had polio.

A few years back Radhika received help and start capital of 20.000 NRS (about 1400 NOK) to start a shop after receiving an entrepreneurial training for eight days.

Before she had the opportunity to open her own shop, she had a small poultry business. However, she found it hard to make ends meet as the business was not profitable. Now, running her own shop, she can provide for herself as well as being able to contribute financially to her family (mother, father and brother).

Radhika sitter utenfor på gårdsplassen foran butikken sin i en landsby i Nepal
Radhika outside her house

Radhika lives in a village with
challenging roads, far from the closest city, and her father helps her out bringing goods to her shop from the city. She is dependent on this as she is not able to go there herself. All though Radhika is happy with her shop, she has realized that she doesn’t have to stop now. With increased confidence she is now planning to open up a cosmetic shop.

Having the opportunity to be independent and to fend for oneself and the family can significantly impact peoples’ lives. This is particularly the fact for people with disabilities who have often been excluded and discriminated against because of their disability. Not necessarily because they are not able to contribute, but because of peoples’ attitudes and underestimation of their abilities. Working and contributing to the society change social perceptions and open up for a more inclusive society.

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