Shudarson is a lawyer and an indefatigable disability rights campaigner in Nepal. He was a co-founder of the Disabled Human Rights Centre, a past President of the National Federation of Disabled Nepal, and continues his awareness-raising, capacity-development, legal, policy, training and consultation work with Ability Manch.
Shudarson grew up in Bardiya District in south-west Nepal. At six months he contracted polio, which caused paralysis in his right leg and delayed his schooling until the age of nine. Life as a child with disability in rural Nepal was difficult; he experienced exclusion and discrimination… but learned to persevere.
He studied law in Kathmandu, writing a thesis on ‘Legal provision for disabled people’ which has since been published and distributed as a reference on legal issues. When he found that educational institutions were not fulfilling their obligations to disabled students, Shudarson lodged and won a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), securing free education and health services for thousands of students with disabilities in Nepal.
Since then, Shudarson has engaged in rights-based activism, won further PILs at the Supreme Court, helped increase legal provisions for social security, and treatment for people experiencing mental health issues. He led a campaign that resulted in hundreds of people with disability gaining employment opportunities, and played a pivotal role in formulating the ‘Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities Act’ and ‘Inclusive Education Policy’ (2017).
Shudarson works with provincial and local government representatives to develop appropriate policies and guidelines for the rights of people with disability, and has tackled the problem of children with disability not being able to access alternative education resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.