A study of coping strategies and social resilience among people with disabilities after the civil war in Nepal.
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The reintegration of ex-combatants, after the civil war of Nepal into normal civilian life, has been very important and challenging. Many of the former combatants found employment either in the Nepalese Army or were provided a financial incentive or rehabilitated through the provision of vocation skills. This thesis focusses on how ex-combatants, especially from the Maoist and police personnel who were affected by the civil war of Nepal are coping today and returned to life as a civilian. This is a study about the difficulties experienced by the former combatants of the Maoist and police officers with disabilities after the peace process. This thesis examines how stigmatization affected their opportunities to return to their previous life and the strategies they have adopted to live a normal life. The thesis also focusses on society’s perception of and how the role of Nepal’s government toward ex-combatants affected ex-combatant’s social and economic integration in society. I have conducted a semi-structured interview to get information from ex-combatants that were selected through snowball sampling. I have done the study in the mid-western region of Nepal especially Dang districts. I have done 10 semi-structured interviews out of which 5 are from the former Maoist side and 5 are from the former police side. Seven ex-combatants are physically impaired, one has a visual impairment, and one has a hearing impairment, one ex-combatants has been recovered now but still contains a lot of bullets in the body. My main findings are that the reintegration process for ex-combatants who were injured or became disabled experienced several difficulties in adapting themselves to normal civilian life. This study points out that the former combatants, especially with disabilities, were not integrated successfully (social and economic) by the government. The former combatants used the strategies such as completely avoiding the violence activities, proper utilization of the money provided by the government, getting support from family and close relative, perseverance and determination to lead a good future, and the ability to adapt the change, good bonding with society (involvement in social activities), and involvement in some earning activities during the integration. My data suggest that the Maoist ex-combatants experienced more difficulty economically and socially as compared to police ex-combatants. The ex-combatants with disabilities had experienced some form of stigmatization during the initial phase of integration. However, social perception had changed to some extent now at the time I did the interview. Keywords: social resilience, coping strategies, Maoist and police ex-combatants, stigmatization, reintegration.
Master i International Social Welfare and Health Policy