Jagadish Prasad Adhikari was one of three co-founders of the Disabled Human Rights Centre, along with friends Maheshwar Ghimire and Shudarson Subedi. Over the years, the three friends developed DHRC-Nepal into a national cross-disability advocacy organization, as well as supporting local DPOs in other parts of Nepal.
Jagadish contracted polio at the age of one. He was an active child and didn’t let his disability stop him, but had an awareness of injustice from a young age. He was sent to a special school for disabled children in Kathmandu, where he later graduated in Nepali and Political Science, going on to work in the private sector, journalism and with a research centre.
DHRC’s early work included the Disabled Peoples Advocacy for Change (2009-2014), where Jagadish took on the management of a 22-member team and a 15-member street theatre troupe, reaching out to grassroots DPOs in every one of Nepal’s 5 regions in order to represent disabled people’s views and aspirations in Nepal’s new constitution.
DHRC’s media and publicity efforts disseminating disability news started with the DPAC programme and continue to this day, with Jagadish editing Disability Voice magazine and a weekly half-hour radio programme.
Jagadish has also attracted a small team of pro bono lawyers to take up cases where disabled women and men have been unjustly treated, discriminated against or their property and rights stolen. He is often the first point of call, and always tries mediation in the first instance: there have been many cases which did not have to go to lengthy court battles but were amicably and fairly settled.