On 11 March 2023, IDEA Nepal in coordination with Nepal Leprosy Network, and Southwestern State College organized a great event in celebration of the 25th International Day of Dignity and Respect. The Honorable Member of Parliament of Nepal, Badri Pandey, joined the event. Prabhu Bank Ltd was the main sponsor while KIF Musickotha (a local church) was the co-sponsor of the event. The program was observed by government officials, representatives from the Leprosy networks, representatives from WHO (Dr. Khim Pa Pa), international delegates (Mr. Ramavarai Sah, Joint-secretary, APAL India) and (Mr. Rev Thuraisamy Sivagnanam Joshua) journalists, teachers and students, people who have experienced Hansen’s disease and their family members, relatives, and neighbors.
During the program, six individuals were honored for their remarkable contributions to the field of leprosy. Three persons are people with lived experience who have made remarkable contributions and are exemplary in advocating, spreading awareness, and fostering leadership. The other three are the individuals who have significant contributions to bringing smiles to the faces of those who have experienced Hansen’s disease. The following individuals were honored during the event:
- Mr. Ramavarai Sah; Joint-secretary, APAL India
- Mr. Rev Thuraisamy Sivagnanam Joshua
- Dr. Pradip Sapkota, Medical Superintendent, Orthopedic and Reconstructive surgeon, TLMN, Anandaban Hospital
- Dr. Rabindra Baskota, Senior Consultant Dermatologist, Ministry of Health and Population of Nepal
- Mr. Balram Neupaney, Former President, IDEA Nepal
- Prima Gharti Magar, Female Leader, IDEA Nepal
On behalf of the honored guests, Mr. Ramavarai Sah shared his personal experiences from rejection to respectful acceptance in society as well as his efforts as a Leprosy Leader; this was part of the expert exchange. We hope this greatly helps us to foster committed leaders in Nepal.
The Chief Guest, Honorable Member of Parliament of Nepal, Badri Pandey, stated that none should be discriminated against for their medical conditions. He further stated that he is committed to amplifying the people’s voices to abolish the discriminatory laws in Nepal.
The news of the events was widely covered by the local media (newspapers, television, radio, and online media).