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

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, who has written extensively on the challenges faced by people with disabilies; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.


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