Thinley Namgay 

Coinciding with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), disabled-friendly facilities like ramps, footpaths, and toilets were inaugurated at the Changlimithang grounds yesterday.

Tandin Dorji, 24, who has to use a wheelchair, said he can now visit Changlimithang stadium whenever he wants.

He said that he could not participate in the National Day celebration at the grounds a few years ago, but returned home, as it was not disabled-friendly. “I am grateful to the government and donor agencies for making the ground disabled-friendly. It makes us feel valued.”

He said that when public facilities are user-friendly, it helps PwDs participate with abled people.

Tandin Dorji from Thimphu has recently completed bakery training and said he also practices wheelchair racing and badminton. “I want to participate in the international games.”

Another PwDs, Kinley Dem, said desuups and scouts had to help her when she visited Changlimithang for the National Day celebration in 2019. “Now I can come for any occasion.”

This year’s theme for the International Day of PwDs is “Leadership and Participation of Persons With Disabilities Toward an Inclusive, Accessible, and Sustainable Post-Covid-19 World.”

PwDs and officials engaged in blind football and boccia as part of the day. These two sports are relatively new in Bhutan.

Funded by Helvetas Bhutan and coordinated by Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC), the Nu 2.588 million project was executed by the National Housing Development Corporation Limited (NHDCL).

NHDCL officials said they took a year and half to construct the amenities.