Bhaktapur. Teachers Ganga Prajapati and Sunita Duwal are of the opinion that people with physical disabilities started taking condoms at home after being informed about ‘sexual and reproductive rights’.
Peer educators Prajapati and Duwal have been keeping separate condoms for men and women every two weeks in the condom box kept in CBR Bhaktapur, a community based rehabilitation organization which has been conducting day classes for people with physical and intellectual disabilities. From there, only people with physical disabilities carry condoms. Female condoms are not widely consumed.
According to Prajapati and Duwal, they have not shared their experience of where and how they enjoy sex with a condom.
People with physical disabilities who have been neglected by their own homes and society while talking about their sexual desire due to physical disability have started talking openly after getting information about it.
“People with physical disabilities who were reluctant to talk about it a year ago are now not only able to talk openly about sexual desire, but also have the right to say that safe sex, safe abortion is their right” Nepal Family Planning Association Fellow teacher Ganga Prajapati, who has been working in Bhaktapur, says.
Fellow teachers have been informing not only the persons with disabilities but also the parents who are directly involved in their care and supervision.
In the first phase of the campaign, the Kathmandu Valley Branch of the Nepal Family Planning Association has started imparting knowledge about the sexual and reproductive rights of persons with physical disabilities in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. This model campaign will run for another one year i.e. till 2022.
If this model campaign is successful, the Nepal Family Planning Association plans to implement it nationwide in collaboration with the government and local bodies, says Sharad Kumar Aryal, manager of the association’s Kathmandu Valley branch.
Suresh Pradhan, coordinator of CBR Bhaktapur, a community-based rehabilitation organization, says that people with physical disabilities in Bhaktapur have become interested in sexual and reproductive rights programs.
Women with physical disabilities are now becoming aware of the desire and attraction towards the opposite sex, privacy and hygiene of sexual organs, menstruation and hygiene, and precautions to be taken when a stranger comes into the house.
Organizations and rights activists working in the field believe that people with intellectual disabilities, mental retardation and multiple disabilities, as well as deaf, hard of hearing, blind and other people with physical disabilities, are capable of sexual activity.
“Even if the limbs and other parts of the body do not move, it is natural for them to have sexual desire like other normal people after the sexual organs work,” says fellow teacher Ganga Prajapati.
Despite having knowledge about sexual and reproductive rights, people with physical disabilities like other people are not able to easily find a male or female partner for sexual intercourse, so they are forced to enjoy their sexual desire through masturbation.
Anup Adhikari, an expert in the field, says that masturbation is a suitable solution for sexual activity, whether it is male or female. The official is of the opinion that safe sex can be enjoyed through masturbation even if there is no sexual partner.