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Majlis Podcast: Pandemic Makes Life Even Harder For Central Asia's Disabled


Coronavirus lockdowns have hit the disabled more than most in Central Asia. (file photo)

Life is often difficult for disabled people in Central Asia, even at the best of times.

While there have been some efforts toward taking steps to help those with disabilities integrate further into society during the last few decades, there are still problems with easy access to buildings and transportation, special education, and the availability of caregivers, just to name a few of the challenges.

The appearance of the coronavirus in Central Asia and the subsequent measures to limit its spread, such as lockdown orders, have complicated nearly everyone’s life, but few have been hit harder than the disabled.

On this week's Majlis Podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager for South and Central Asia, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion looking at the impact that the fight against the spread of the coronavirus is having on people with disabilities in Central Asia.

This week’s guests are, from Tajikistan, Lola Nasriddinova, the founder and executive director of IRODA -- the Parents of Children with Autism Initiative; also originally from Tajikistan but currently in Britain, Tahmina Hamkimova-Rees, an activist on women’s rights and on the inclusion of people with Down syndrome, and the founder of the Nazari Digar organization; from Kazakhstan, Madina Karsakpayeva, who is a PhD researcher currently working at the Eotvos Loran University in Budapest on helping people in Central Asia with physical disabilities enter institutions of higher education; and, originally from Uzbekistan but currently studying at Sussex University in Britain, Dilmurad Yusupov, an activist for the rights of the disabled and a columnist for the Uzbek news agency Gazeta.uz, who has written extensively on the challenges faced by people with disabilies; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Majlis Podcast: Pandemic Makes Life Even Harder For Central Asia's Disabled
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About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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