Located in Babai Rural Municipality, Dang district, Dhanubas is a small village with around 500 people who primarily rely on animal husbandry and agriculture to sustain their livelihoods. The village is situated 58 km from Ghorahi, the nearest city centre.

Seema* is a 36-year-old woman living in the village facing challenges due to her hearing disability. Her husband went missing 15 years ago, leaving her to support herself, her son, her daughter, and her daughter-in-law. Seema has had to deal with the situation with no income or support, making life difficult for her.

For ten years, Seema had been suffering from an ear problem. She had been to local hospitals for check-ups, but her condition never improved. Seema had no money to go to a bigger hospital for treatment. She stopped going to social gatherings and didn’t like people showing her pity. “I felt so unlucky because of my husband’s disappearance and ear problem. I cried many times thinking about my life,” she shares.

Fortunately, INF Nepal’s Community Mobilizer, Amrita Dhakal, introduced Seema to the Laganshil self-help group (SHG), an SHG for persons with disabilities. Seema regularly participated in group meetings and learned more about disabilities. During the meeting, she shared her ear problem, and the group recommended her for INF treatment support.

Seema in the hospital bed after the ear surgeryAfter receiving support, Seema underwent ear surgery, improving her condition dramatically. She could hear again, and her confidence and self-esteem grew. She started participating in social gatherings, and her community respected and responded positively to her. She even joined Daily work in the local Rojgarkendra (centre for employment). “Now, I have joined daily work in the local Rojgarkendra and my family and I are happy due to the improved condition,” she joyfully shares.

Seema credits INF Nepal’s Dang CBID project for changing her life. The project aims to improve the livelihood and health status of persons with disabilities and people living with HIV/AIDS in the target communities. The project interventions focused on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in community structures, capacity development, establishing and strengthening SHGs, and Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs), providing vocational skill development and income generation opportunities, providing health referral and treatment support, and awareness raising on issues of disability.

Seema feels grateful for the support she received from the project, which not only provided her with treatment support but also removed her wrong concept about disability and offered motivational counselling services. She now wants to help other persons with disabilities and support the project. She plans to start income generation work for livelihood if she can collect enough money.

Through the Dang CBID project, INF Nepal has helped persons with disabilities like Seema improve their quality of life and become more self-reliant. Seema’s story is a testament to the project’s success in achieving its goal.

Seema in the hospital bed after ear surgery

* Name changed to protect the person’s identify