Sarita Lamichhane – Founder of Prayatna Nepal
Sarita Lamichhane is a blind woman by birth and is from a remote village in Nepal where people are socially and economically backwards. As they lack education and awareness they believe that disability is a curse from the past life. Although her parents are extremely supportive of her, the society unfortunately, isn’t.
At the age of 6, she got an opportunity to enroll an inclusive school which took 10 hours of walk from the village. So, she decided to stay back at the hostel and as she was the youngest, the teachers there were not very concerned with her education.
Therefore, she used to learn Braille from her father when she visited home. When she moved to Kathmandu for higher studies, she used to live at hostel where she met other blind women and knew about many other troubles they were facing. From then on Sarita became interested in supporting women and started working with different organizations as a volunteer always focusing on the support of blind women.
Change Fusion Nepal, a non government organization conducted a survey on the employment status of visually impaired women. Through this survey she realized that there was a lack of proper policies, lack of trust towards blind persons, lack of opportunities and lack of confidence in blind women. Then she decided to stand for the rights of blind women and applied at Kanthari for leadership training.
Kanthari is an international institute in South India. This institute provides 7 months leadership training for social change makers. When she was selected for Kanthari leadership training, she also got government job offer. But she refused her government job and she attended 7 months kanthari leadership training. Now she has graduated from Kanthari (www.kanthari.org).
At this crucial time, she has realized that the visually impaired women need motivation, confidence and training to survive in a male dominated society along with skills that make them employable. Nepal is still a conservative society which is inefficient to empower blind women; Therefore She has started an organization Prayatna Nepal after returning from Kanthari.