Akshar Arambha Nepal (AAN) is a Nepalese NGO that promotes inclusive education and vocational training for both children and adults living with disabilities. “Akshar Arambha” literally translates as “to start reading and writing at an early age” and was founded by Lila Nath Pahadi, a physically disabled person who struggled to have access to education growing up in the Middle Eastern region of Nepal. Because of his condition, Lila was subject to prejudice from society and neglect from the government, which encouraged him to change this reality by creating this NGO.
Since 2016 AAN has been an advocate for the right to education for persons with disabilities, a right which is jeopardized by the lack of appropriate conditions to receive students with disabilities at Nepalese schools. These schools often lack ramps, accessible toilets and the generally needed infrastructure to receive students with reduced mobility. Through their nationwide advocacy strategy, AAN voices the concerns of this often neglected group of people striving to have access to the educational system.