Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change
Building in Disabled Access in Tajikistan
Even when buildings in Tajikistan have access ramps, they are often completely unusable, wheelchair users say.
“Access is the most important thing of all,” wheelchair user Farida Alibakhscheva told IWPR. “In our town, Khorog, and in Dushanbe, we simply can’t go out anywhere; we can’t get from A to B because of the lack of access. There aren’t any ramps, and when there are, they aren’t any use. I’d like to get the architects who designed them to sit in a wheelchair and try to use these ramps to see how they get on.”
After years of lobbying, the Dushanbe Society for the Disabled has succeeding in making it a requirement for proper access to be designed into new buildings in the capital.
The society’s head, Asadullo Zikhrikhudoev, says that demands for access to public transport used to go ignored, but a new factory making buses has taken their demands on board.
“It’s gratifying that we’re being listened to and that the authorities have realised disabled people don’t just need help – if the right conditions are put in place, they’ll be able to go to work and move about independently,” he said.
Khurshid Durakhsh is an IWPR-trained radio reporter in Tajistan.
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