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War Victims Boosted by Wheelchair Basketball
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War Victims Boosted by Wheelchair Basketball

Recovering from trauma can be difficult, especially if it is due to a ten-year-long civil war. Nepal’s citizens are still trying to recuperate and bounce back from the awful aftermath of the war between the government forces and the Maoist rebels. But sports enthusiasts are on the move to help these victims recover from the trauma through sports.

The decade-long conflict between the Nepalese government and Maoist insurgents (Maoists are followers of Maoism or Mao Zedong Thought and are considered as an anti-Revisionists form or oppositions of Marxism-Leninism) had devastating outcomes that affected the entire country and its citizens. The long civil war claimed the lives of 17,000 people while displacing 100,000 more of the Nepalese population. But the strife’s ultimate result was the abolition of the two-century-old monarchy in the country.

The 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement finally and formally ended the Nepalese Civil War wherein the Nepalese Government and the Maoist group, which is a Nepalese political party, signed the peace agreement on the 21st of November, 2006. Though the war is over and the government is focusing on the post-conflict transition, the impact of the battle and bloodshed is still visible in the lives of the Nepal citizens.

Recovering from trauma can be hard on any person who witnessed firsthand the gruesome bloodshed and crossfires. Anyone who experienced the bombings and ambushes simply cannot put aside the fear and horror of it. That is why sports enthusiasts are actively helping the war victims through basketball.

Himal Aryal, a Nepali soldier, became disabled in his teenage years when a bomb nearby exploded. Being a witness and fighter of the conflict is already traumatic, how much more being paralyzed for the rest of his life. Aryal said that recovering from what he experienced is way beyond difficult, but through the help of sports enthusiasts who introduced wheelchair basketball, he gradually adjusted and slowly recuperated from the tragedy.

Aryal is now the head captain of the Nepal’s Army wheelchair basketball team and has been playing the sport for four years already. He dribbles and shoots locally and nationally and is very much supportive of his teammates who are also victims of the war and have suffered severe injuries.

Hundreds of soldiers and civilians were injured or even paralyzed by the war. But through sports, especially basketball, they are able to gradually recover from their traumatic experience as well as reestablish their freedom and independence. Sports enthusiasts, throughout the years, have made basketball a way to boost and encourage war victims to live their lives without terror.

Today, basketball has become one of the most popular sports played by individuals with disabilities in Nepal. The Nepal Wheelchair Basketball Association or the NeWBA continues to support and encourage the wheelchair users to join and play the sport as an outlet or a channel wherein they can release the pain and fear from the war that they have been hiding inside and eventually recover from whatever trauma they have experienced.

 

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