Nepalis Political Leaders Spotlight: Gori Darji

Updated: April 2018
A Woman sits crossed leg in

As part of a miniature series, IFES staff interviewed elected Political Leaders with disabilities throughout Nepal. The third Q&A, highlighting Gori Darji, which has been lightly edited for clarity, is available below. 

What inspired you to become involved in political life?


When I lost my right leg, I became shattered and had lost hope in life. However, one day while I was listening to the radio, there was an announcement on a prosthetic leg distribution campaign organized by Plan International Nepal. Having received an opportunity to use a prosthetic leg, I felt like my life came back. It was then that I realized I have do something in life, something good. And that is when I started volunteering with various civil society programs (CSOs) in my community. I realized that to make change happen and do something good for my community, I have to enter politics. 


Did you encounter challenges as a candidate with a disability? If so, how do you meet and overcome those challenges?


I didn’t encounter any challenges in becoming a candidate. Previously, I was engaged with local CSOs. I knew some party people at the local level. One day, the party asked if I wanted to get nominated. Initially I was a bit confused about whether to enter politics or not. But then I thought to myself that this is a very good opportunity for me and I can be an honest and a good leader. So, I finally signed up.


What role do you think politicians can play to support access of persons with disabilities to civic and political rights?


Persons with disabilities are facing a lot of challenges and many are being locked inside their houses due to their disability. Now it's high time for media, political parties and other related organizations to take an appropriate step to address this issue and to assure their civil and political rights.


Which initiatives to support the rights of women and men with disabilities do you plan to undertake while in office?


Blind and Deaf persons are not allowed to open bank accounts. This is a very basic right of any citizen. I will start with working on this issue and slowly touch upon their other rights.


What advice would you share with other persons with disabilities who want to be politicians?


For youth who want to be a politician, my suggestion would be to not hide your disability, there are other persons who are more vulnerable than you. Come into the frontline and work towards raising awareness, you can do it.