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Nepal’s disabled grab their chances on the pitch

She crouches down to place her cricket bat horizontally on the ground. Carefully she tilts her head just a little to listen to the sound of the ball approaching. And then when it’s close enough she sweeps across the ground and hits the ball. Sunita Ghimeri from the first blind women’s cricket team proves that cricket is not a sport reserved for men with good eyesight only.

In Kathmandu Sunita and her team of visually impaired girls fight against the public’s prejudice against handicapped people every day, by playing cricket.

“I’m playing for the B3 category. In blind cricket there are three categories. B1 means totally blind, B2 means partially blind, B3 means low vision. The score of a B1 player, is double,” Sunita explains who, even though she’s one of the best sighted players from her team, can’t actually see if she’s scored a six.

“I hear the ball because of the little bell inside, but I have to find out what my score is from the score keeper on the sideline,” Sunita says.

Disabled in Nepal

Organisations like the Blind Women’s Cricket Association and the National Rehabilitation Society (NRS) try to raise awareness about disabilities in Nepal. Especially in remote villages people still see it as a curse.

Parents keep their disabled children inside, as they’re often unaware of the help they can get to live a normal life.

This was the case for Krishna Raj Chaudary, who lives in a remote mountain area in Nepal. She has no legs. “When I was in the village I didn’t know about a wheelchair, people had to carry me everywhere,” says Khrishna.

In Nepal’s capital Kathmandu Krishna got a wheelchair from the NRS. He’s now the captain of a wheelchair basketball team. With his special chair, he can outsmart most players on the court.
This week’s show
Because of Nepal’s poor infrastructure, Krishna and Sunita depend on others to help them when they’re back on the road. The freedom that both of them get in their sport is gone once they step off the pitch.

On this week’s show we talk about sports and how it can be a great tool to empower Nepal’s disabled community.

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