Pratima Gurung

President of Nepal Indigenous Disabled Association

Active in Country: Nepal

DTP Alumna: 2017 UNDRIP and SDG 2030 - Thailand & 2014 Indigenous Peoples Program - Myanmar



The DTP programs helped bridge a connection between various human rights issues in my advocacy work, in my case, Indigenous people with disabilities. The programs taught me how to establish a movement with the other Indigenous peoples and organisations to fight for our rights. 

Pratima is the President of the National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal (NIDWAN). Pratima, herself is an Indigenous woman with a disability. From her participation in DTP programs she sought to gain information on human rights standards, new skills and approaches for engaging with the UN, and new methods to highlight the rights of Indigenous people with disabilities.

‘Intersectional discrimination’, faced by a particular group based on their identity, is a key discourse for discussion today. Indigenous people with disabilities are entitled to the same human rights as all of us. Let’s unite to capture, reflect and focus on the heterogeneity of the human condition with respect, and fight to bring out the ‘voice of the voiceless’.

Since the DTP programs, Pratima has been very active in accessing the international mechanisms related to Indigenous peoples’ rights and the rights of persons with disabilities. Pratima and others in NIDWAN have worked to bring the voices of Indigenous peoples with disabilities into the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples issues.

NIDWAN was able to highlight the situation of Indigenous peoples with disabilities at the 2016 UN Permanent Forum 15th Session. We were able to bring forth the issues to both the Special Rapporteur on Indigenous peoples and Persons with Disabilities – Victoria Corpuz and Catalina Devandas – Pratima’s speech to the UN 15th Session of UNPFII

Pratima has also drawn attention to the intersection of concerns of Indigenous peoples with disabilities with other areas of concern for Indigenous people such as climate change, health and education. Pratima and her organisation have done much to build collaboration with other Indigenous people’s organisations.

One of the achievements that I really want to highlight is the cross-movement collaboration approach. We have been dealing with the wider movement by involving Indigenous brothers and sisters, Indigenous peoples’ organizations and Indigenous experts. And together we highlight the rights of Indigenous peoples with disabilities.


Interview was conducted in June 2017 and profile written August 2017

Profile was part of the DTP's 25th Anniversary Exhibition