One of the major hurdles in the fight against disability is to overcome the lack of awareness among the general masses concerning disability and its prevention. Adherence to outdated beliefs and practices, such as using edible oil and other home remedies for treatment of ear diseases, taking shelter of shamanism (practice of sorcery) for the treatment of diseases, igniting a bonfire and creating lot of smoke in the house for negating complications during pregnancy, being complacent about disability considering it to be a penance for one’s sins from previous lives, etc. is rampant in Nepal. Therefore, raising public awareness in the rural communities has been an integral part of IN’s overall programmes. It primarily aims at:
- Dissemination of vital information regarding disability and its prevention.
- Bringing about positive behavioral changes towards disability and people with disability.
- Promotion of networking among partners in the field of disability prevention.
- Encouraging community based rehabilitation (CBR) for sustainability and impact.
The activities carried out for building public awareness includes distribution of IEC materials, radio programmes, putting up educational hoarding boards at prime locations, and organizing annual awareness building rallies. Orientation programmes on health awareness and disability prevention are also organized for the local FCHVs, other health care workers and district health personnel while other educational activities are conducted in local schools and communities.