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Fair Game for Nepal: Make disability rights REAL

Copyrights: ENGAGE

Fair Game for Nepal: Make disability rights REAL

The Turkish Airlines ENGAGE Empowering League, running from 2-30 June, acts as a catalyst for social change.

Social inclusion is a long term goal that requires multiple efforts from a different range of areas and sector. A combination of sport for development and volunteerism can truly make the difference in terms of creating the foundations for a more just and inclusive society.

Bringing people together for a common cause and mobilising volunteers to serve for a cause within the framework of a sport for development initiative is one of the best ways to achieve social change.

This is exactly what we are trying to do with the 3rd Edition of the Turkish Airlines ENGAGE Empowering League, the main adaptive sports competition in Nepal that on the one hand promotes a new narrative about disability rights and on the other hand, it tries to elevate the level of wheelchair basketball in the country.

Nepal is in a critical time in terms of social inclusion and overall holistic implementation of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

After many years of gestation, a new Disability Act has been passed by the parliament and now the government and disability sector stakeholders are finalising its regulation whose implementation will either mark the new legislation as another paper tiger or instead as a game-changer for all the persons with disabilities and their families.

The League is going to be played under the motto “Fair Game for Nepal: Make disability rights REAL”.

In terms of teams involved (nine male and five female) representing the entire nation, the league is the biggest sport event in the country, including mainstream sports. It would not be possible without the second element that can play an important role in the process of social change: the mobilisation of volunteers.

Volunteers to literally manage from all the logistical points of view, all the aspects of the games; volunteers to conduct awareness programmes in the schools and volunteers to run small sensitisation at community levels, all local youths, students at high school and university levels.

Certainly we are aware that it will take time and further efforts to promote disability rights in the country but organising the League that will also have for the first time a strong media component in the most-read English newspaper in Nepal, will definitely help the cause of disability and social inclusion.

The inclusion of corporate houses and traditional development partners is essential as the League champions a new debate on social inclusion and disability rights.

In the past, one of the business partners of the League had offered an internship to a young person living with disability, a real prime for that corporate house.

You can see events like the League as a sort of catalyst for social change, an enabler that kicks out a positive domino effect.

We look forward, in the coming weeks, to be inspired by the hope, determination and commitment that will be shown by all the players and volunteers participating in the League.

They deserve to be in the limelight. After all they are the champions of a more inclusive Nepal.

  • The league will run from 2 - 30 June. You can follow it on Facebook

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 12:10