The first initiation to promote the concept of Independent Living Movement in Nepal was brought by a group of young and energetic persons with disabilities (PWDs) under the leadership of Mr. Krishna Gautam. Mr. Krishna Gautam’s vision was to establish Independent Living Center where persons with profound and severe disabilities can count on in terms of support, assistance, counseling and services. Having followed a 10 month “DUSKIN Leadership Training” in Japan, Mr. Krishna Gautam took the initiative to promote Independent Living in Nepal and creating the Independent Living Center (ILC Lalitpur). Gaining a lot of needed knowledge on Independent Living (IL) from he’s extensive training, Mr. Krishna Gautam together with a team of equally minded youths and energetics started to shift the paradigm of disability from charity to rights based.
A fight for rights!
The Start of the Independent Living Center (ILC) was a struggle and a journey from a concept to reality. When Independent Living for persons with disabilities (PWDs) started as an idea in 2005, Mr. Krishna Gautam and he’s team needed first the support of the government and during that time it was just not possible to start a movement for civil rights. Nepal was unstable due to the arms conflict and the direct ruling of the king. But with the leadership of the seven party’s alliance the people of Nepal prepared the “people’s movement” and liberated the country from the cruel claws of autocracy. The Independent Living Center (ILC) at that time not yet fully established, fully supported the “people’s movement” with the participation of persons with disabilities (PWDs). In April 2006 during the big road movement of the “people’s movement” the Independent Living Center (ILC) joined the masses on behalf of Civil Society and helped creating a path to a new future.
After the liberation and the change of the political situation in Nepal the idea of Independent Living in Nepal came to life as it was registered in the district administration office, Lalitpur in 2010 as the Independent Living Center (ILC).
Independent Living, what does it mean?
The concept of Independent Living (IL) for persons with disabilities (PWDs) does not mean doing everything yourself or living on your own. It stands for giving a choice and helping getting control over the facility of personal assistance, equipment or assistive devices need for daily life. Also Independent Living (IL) in Nepal offers a chance on education, training, housing, transportation, health services, personal assistance service, peer counseling and employment for persons with disabilities (PWDs). A vision, a philosophy and a strong and solidary movement of persons with disabilities (PWDs) that promotes and protects the human rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) that is Independent Living (IL). Approaching from a social model and an equal rights based system in Nepal for people with disabilities (PWDs) is the way how the Independent Living Center (ILC) progresses towards its goals.