According to a recent survey conducted by the Bhutan Society (ABS) in Tsirang, the dzongkhag has 975 persons living with impairments.
From April through May, a team of enumerators supervised by two ABS officials conducted the survey in Zhemgang, Samtse, and Tsirang as part of the ABS’s three-year initiative “Engaging and empowering individuals with disabilities.”
According to Pema Deki, the ABS’s dzongkhag coordinator, the data collected across the dzongkhag’s 12 gewogs revealed a wide spectrum of infirmities, with hearing impairment being one of the most prominent.
According to Pema Deki, gathering reliable data is the first step in addressing the issues that persons with disabilities confront.
She explained that the project will aid persons with disabilities in their desire for self-determination and community participation by boosting early identification, strengthening community workers’ and services’ ability, and facilitating income-generating activities to enhance living conditions.
“There are specific programmes established for persons with specific disabilities and their caretakers, according to the statistics.” The information would also aid in the development of critical accessibility infrastructure for individuals with disabilities, she said.
The idea also includes giving young people with disabilities seed money to start income-generating ventures and enrolling them in special education programmes based on their interests.
She did say, though, that some people may have been overlooked during the data collection process. “We ask that they register with our office as soon as possible so that we can begin providing services.”
Ganga Maya Monger, a caregiver from Damphu, had been caring for her son, Anan Monger, who has cerebral palsy, for the past 11 years. She said the family has struggled to adjust to a new way of life since he was diagnosed with the impairment at the age of one.
“I have to be around him all of the time.” He is unable to speak or walk. “We applied for wheelchair assistance but were unable to obtain one,” she explained.
She intends to get a wheelchair for her son with the help of the organisation.
The project’s first phase included the dzongkhags of Chhukha, Dagana, Punakha, Sarpang, and Tashigang. The German Leprosy and TB Relief Association and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development are both supporting the project.