When Maria Neboga’s daughter was diagnosed at birth with three debilitating neurological diseases, doctors urged her to commit the paralyzed baby to a state-run institution.
“In our country, such children are considered unpromising and hopeless. Since my daughter’s birth, doctors have tried to convince me of that,” Neboga said.
The 33-year-old single mother from Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan, struggles to care for her daughter Dasha, now 6, who suffers from infantile paralysis, epilepsy and microcephaly. Neboga had hoped by now the government would have fulfilled a promise to make life easier for her daughter by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. President Roza Otunbayeva signed the convention in 2011, but parliament has not taken action since then.
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Hamid Tursunov is a freelance journalist based in Osh.