News Story

Wheelchairs, A Life-changing Event

Every year on the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” we remember those with physical or mental impairment.  This year, however, it was a life-changing event for over fifty handicapped people in the small rural villages of Nepal. Situated high in the mountainous region of southern Nepal are the places where dozens of wheelchairs were donated by LDS Charities with the help of the National Rehabilitation Society for the Disabled.  Gathered at a field where the wheelchairs were to be distributed were disabled Nepalese of all ages.  They ranged from children as young as five years of age to seniors in their eighties.  They were here not only to receive a wheelchair but to have it custom fitted to their individual body and disability by expert volunteer technicians. They also received training on its most effective use and maintenance. 

Among the recipients was Sandip Pun, a seven year old boy who had never attended school because he was rejected due to his disability and lack of means to move around.  After receiving his new wheelchair, Sandip brimmed with excitement as he will now be permitted to join the other children and students and get his education.

Dharmendar Mallah, is a eighteen year old young man who has not been able to learn a trade because of his immobility. He said, “This wheelchair will make it possible to go to school and get a job. I am so happy. I feel like my whole life is going to change.”

Many of the recipients have never had a wheelchair before but now realize that a whole new world of opportunities will open up for them. A local school for the hearing impaired bussed in students to help celebrate the happy occasion. Dignitaries from Butwal awarded scholarships to wheelchair recipients who can now further their education and careers. Over three hundred people attended the distribution and closing ceremony. This same scenario was repeated several days later in the mountain village of Kawasoti. The disabled were fitted for and received wheelchairs donated by LDS Charities.  Lives were changed; hope restored and broad smiles were the expression of the day. Baijnath Chandhary was one of three newly elected members of Parliament that attended and remarked how moved he was by the caring and generosity of LDS Charities. The other two members of Parliament attending were Jeevan Shrestha and Krishna Pavdel who expressed similar feelings.

In 2013 LDS Charities has donated almost one thousand wheelchairs to the disabled of Nepal. Elder and Sister Mendenhall, a Humanitarian couple in Kathmandu from America and Rakesh Hamal were instrumental in the success of wheelchair projects in Nepal. Their efforts have resulted in the relief of many Nepalese from the pains and suffering experienced with immobility.

LDS Charities is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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