Coronavirus-news July 2, 2020
Social worker Malvika Iyer’s video highlights challenges faced by disabled people during COVID-19
The challenges faced by people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic are not easily understood. Dr Malvika Iyer, the well-known disability rights activist, is trying to change this through an animated educational video created with sister Kadambari.
What does the term disability inclusive response mean and how can we ensure it as a community? Questions that Dr Malvika Iyer addresses in a creative educational video titled COVID-19 and People with Disabilities.
Through the animated video, created by sister Kadambari Iyer, Malvika explains how every disability has its own challenges and these are best addressed when the community comes together.
“When we see a discussion in response to COVID-19 it is important to see it from the perspective of a person with disability”, says Malvika who is a social worker, PhD scholar, international motivational speaker, as well as a disability rights activist.
I believe it is my social responsibility as a person with disability to create this awareness. My challenges are not the same as that of a visually impaired person or a wheelchair user so it is important for me to make sure that people understand that everyone is unique, and we must do our best to include everyone. – Dr Malvika Iyer, Disability rights activist
Life before disability & after
Malvika was 13 when she lost her hands in a bomb blast. Her legs were injured as well with multiple fractures, numbness and nerve paralysis. She does not remember too many details of life before this incident. “The one thing I do remember vividly is that I had never met anyone with a disability before this, so I didn’t understand much about it”.
Today, she works towards changing this mindset at every forum. “While researching this video, I looked at a lot of information including the Centre’s Comprehensive Inclusive Guidelines for Persons with Disability. It is important to understand the specific challenges people face. I have long stumps so I can do many things with my hands but my legs are completely injured so I am unable to do many things others can”.
Video emphasises need for inclusion
The video has been shared across many platforms. “Many people told me that they never thought about it from this perspective before. Many people working in the space of disability rights have appreciated it as well”, she adds.
This has encouraged her to think of developing more such videos in partnership with Kadambari, who Malvika regards as a mentor. “She suggested the idea of creating videos to build awareness”, says Malvika. Kadambari edited the video and looks forward to doing more. “This is my first video and I am looking forward to creating them regularly to build awareness during the quarantine period”, says Kadambari.
Check the video out here:
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