October 9, 2023
KATHMANDU – Manjiv Tamang, a 14-year-old boy from Ramechhap, keeps visiting the Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children (HRDC), located in Banepa Municipality Ward 11, for the treatment of his leg.
According to Tamang’s father, Prem Yonjan, the teenager suffered a leg injury some 10 years ago while playing with his friends. Yonjan took his son to various health facilities for treatment, and because of constant travel, Tamang had to discontinue his studies several times.
HRDC treats disabled children and also conducts classes during their treatment so children can continue their studies.
Yonjan said this time his son stayed in the hospital for three months, and his study was not affected at all. Tamang has been sent home to rest after his treatment.
“After getting information about the HRDC programme for helping disabled children continue their studies along with treatment, my heart was filled with joy,” Yonjan said. “My son is studying in grade 8 at the Bharati Secondary School in Ramechhap, and here, along with treatment, he got the opportunity to continue his study in the classroom operated by the hospital, which is completely free.”
During every treatment, Tamang has to stay at the hospital for one or two months. “There is an ilizarov frame in my son’s left leg, due to which he cannot move without the help of others,” Yonjan added. “While studying in the classroom, I don’t even have to check on him because nurses and doctors always make sure the children in the classroom are doing okay.”
Prakash Yadav, manager of HRDC, said that they started conducting classes for the disabled children visiting the hospital in 2014, and so far, at least 5,825 children have studied here along with treatment. Among the students, 2,651 were female and 3,174 were male.
“Children’s minds are like a growing plant, and they should be nurtured with knowledge,” Yadav said. “Disconnecting from their studies at an early age not only holds their potential back but also demotivates them. We have established the classroom with dedicated teachers so no children feel unmotivated towards studying or be deprived of education.”
Similarly, Kabita Adhikari, a 15-year-old girl from Nepalgunj studying in grade 10 at Muntara English Boarding School, suffers from leg disability from a very early age. She also stayed at the hospital for nearly four months and returned home a few months ago.
“I was very worried about my studies as this year I am going to participate in the Secondary Education Examination (SEE),” Adhikari said. “After my parents found out that HRDC conducts classes along with treatment, all my worries got washed away. I studied in the classes of the hospital for more than three months and hope to score good grades in my SEE.”
Adhikari added, “During my time at the HRDC, I was worry-free as doctors and nurses were always looking after us while studying in the class.”
According to Yadav, the manager, the classes are for children and are conducted from 8 am to 4 pm.
Narayani Adhikari, a teacher at the hospital’s class, says students from grades 1 to 12 are kept in the same classroom. The classes and examinations are conducted in coordination with the schools where the children are studying.
“Separate classes have been arranged for those below five years of age as they need special care and teaching methods,” Narayani said. “Currently, there are around 25 to 30 students under the age of 18 studying here. The number of students keeps going up and down because every couple of days some get admitted and some go home after treatment.”
Yadav said that they are working day in and day out to upgrade the facilities and education methods in the classroom conducted for disabled children. “We want that no disabled children have to discontinue their study during treatment,” he said.