On the 2nd of May 2020, Zubaan, an independent feminist publishing house based in New Delhi, hosted a webinar on The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in India on people living with disabilities. Founder and executive director Nidhi Goyal was invited as a panellist alongside other panelists Shampa Sengupta, founder of Sruti Disability Rights Centre and Bhaotina Mushahary of Women’s Leadership Training Centre (WLTC).
The webinar brought toward pertinent issues surrounding disabled people's existences and spotlighted disability as a cross-cutting issue. The panellists highlighted the lack of regard of disabled people and their needs on the part of the state machinery and civil society organisations doing relief work.
Nidhi also highlighted the bioethics of the medical response to COVID 19 and the de-prioritisation of persons with disabilities. She emphasised on the greater vulnerabilities of disabled persons and the impact on mental and physical health of this group. She also spotlighted the vulnerability and invisibility of women with disabilities in violence discourses,urgent responses, and mechanisms in the current pandemic.
The webinar ended with a call for solidarity between the disabled community and non-disabled people's organisations, emphasizing the disability movement's motto, 'Nothing about us, without us'.
Watch the full webinar here: