Workshop on Independent Living
～Special guest from Nepal, Krishna san～
We held “Independent Living Workshop” from 26th to 29th June, sponsored by United Way of Taiwan, invited Krishna san from Nepal as a guest. Workshops were held in Taipei and Gaoxiong, over 100 persons with disabilities and concerned parties participated.
We actually planned this event in last year. However, big earthquake occurred in April in Nepal, so that we were worried about our guest, Krishna san and people who lives in Nepal. After confirmation of their safety, we started to worry about whether they could come to Taiwan. But we appreciated because of they said ”No problem!”.
And then, we also wanted to do something for them. We started fund-raising activities.
＜Schedule of workshop＞
26th June：Barrier free tour in Taipei
27th：Workshop on Independent Living in Taipei
28th：Workshop on Independent Living in Gaoxiong
29th：Barrier free tour in Gaoxiong
Nepali hats, scarfs, T-shirts and teas were sold at the event. It was really funny that all participants wore Nepali hats during workshop.
Taiwanese were very supportive. A lot of products were sold!
In this event, Krishna san and delegates experienced barrier free in Taiwan such as airplane, metro, shinkansen, non-step bus, barrier free taxi, ship, cable car, all those vehicles!! They said “very nice”. As a result of this opportunity, there was a talk about transfer of technology of producing electric wheelchair in Taiwan.
The reason why we could hold this workshop was that I was invited to the seminar which was held in Nepal. At that time, I was very much impressed by the situation of persons with disabilities and independent living movement in Nepal. I was eager to introduce it to Taiwan, so that I planned this workshop. Taiwanese people often have opportunities to listen the story of independent living movement of USA or Japan. Therefore, Taiwanese people were under the impression that “independent living movements are exist only in developed countries”. But now, we truly understand that the situation of Nepal is much more difficult than Taiwan by listening Krishna san’s lecture. There are often irregular power outages. It is hard to walk down the street. They do their best to promote independent living movement. Actually this movement leads successful achievements such as Wheelchair production project has started funded by the Nepali government, realization of Personal Assistant Services, etc. Krishna san also talked about his marriage. “The reason why persons with disabilities are so hard to get married is, independent living is not so much promoted! Also, there are still many barriers such as people’s perspective, environmental barriers. Taiwanese people were shocked by Krishna san’s story and the video which was shown.
It is very important to hold events or follow-up program in order to build network among former trainees. Because we could learn good points each other, and also support each other. This is really meaningful. As the result of this workshop, we would like to conduct not only wheelchair projects but various activities between Nepal and Taiwan.