Ms. Pratima Gurung is an academic activist involved in research and advocacy since 2004 and works on gender, disability, indigenous, marginalized groups and intersectional issues at community level. She is a faculty member of Padmakanya College, the only government College in Nepal providing women education. She founded NIDWAN in 2015 with an aim to be voices of voiceless who are excluded at all level. In addition, she is a Global Advisory Member of Disability Advocacy Right Funds and General Secretary of Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network and Asia focal person.
Ms. Jamuna Tamang is a young Tamang indigenous woman with physical disability belonging to a remote village of Sindhupalchowk, one of the 2015 earthquake affected districts. She is currently pursuing her study in Management and playing a key role in the effective development of NIDWAN. She works as a facilitator to unite young women with disabilities and engage them to develop and groom their capacity. Jamuna is also a wheelchair sport player and cultural dancer, and contributes to mainstreaming disability through sports
Ms. Ranjana Chaudhary is a young indigenous woman with a physical disability representing Nepal’s Western Terai. She is currently pursuing her academic career in Social Work. She is working in NIDWAN as a Project Coordinator. She is engaged in fieldwork, and in facilitating all the day to day activities of NIDWAN. Ranjana is member of the National Para Taekwendo team, competing and representing Nepal internationally since 2015.
Dr. Gurung is a tourism analyst and entrepreneur by profession. Currently, he is working in tourism promotion and development at community level. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Mountain Tourism and has published number of articles and books on tourism. He has written books like Mountain Tourism in Nepal and also serves as a social worker at community level. He is keenly interested working on social, political and environmental issues with community peoples, peoples with disabilities, rural and young peoples.
Mr. Hom Yamphu (Rai) is a lecturer in Anthropology in Tribhuvan University. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D on “The Kirat and Tibetan Interface in the eastern Himalayan region. He has published several academic articles like Mindum: Yamphu Kirat History, The Narrative of Chawa: Yamphu Notion of Self-governance and Pellam: a cultural way of making self-sovereign people. In addition, he has worked on promoting and protecting the human rights of Indigenous Peoples’ working as an activist and indigenous expert. From 2009/10, he worked as an expert member in High Level Task force (Formed by the Government of Nepal) for the Revision of the Official List of Indigenous Peoples’ of Nepal
Our journey began when Pratima engaged in research about gender and disability at community and grassroot level, and realized that young indigenous women with disabilities from rural areas were in a very critical situation. Facing multiple discrimination and violation of our Human Rights, we were not represented anywhere in the society and remained invisible to the rest. There was a necessity to bring our stories to light.
The 2015 earthquake led to an increase of vulnerability among young indigenous women with disabilities, experiencing direct, structural, and institutional discrimination and the situation became even more alarming and vulnerable.
We struggled finding a structure that could represent all of us due to our multiple identities we have and acknowledge the need of creating an inclusive association to bring awareness about intersectional discriminations we faced in our daily lives.
Today, NIDWAN works for the groups having multiple identities and impacts of those by cross movement collaboration and building synergy both at grass root and global level with all relevant stakeholders. NIDWAN is member of National Federation of the Disabled Nepal (NFDN), Asia Indigenous Women Network (AIWN) and Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN).
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