Monday, September 26, 2022

Screams of Marginal Groups in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic


Disability group activist, Dewi Tjakrawinata from the Indonesian Down Syndrome Care Foundation (YAPESDI), said the COVID-19 pandemic has left people with disabilities with multiple burdens. Moreover, people with disabilities who are exposed to COVID-19 are of course very dependent on their families and their environment.

“The situation (pandemic) makes them more vulnerable to violence. The pressures they face as people with disabilities, layered discrimination and being left behind during the pandemic are extraordinary,” he said at an online press conference, Sunday (18/7).

As a result, said Dewi, many of them suffer from mental and psychosocial disorders.

Dimas Anwar Saputra, a junior high school student, and his friends use the free internet network at the village office to study amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in Jakarta, September 9, 2020. (Photo: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

This condition is also experienced by people with disabilities from among children, especially those who are in school. The COVID-19 pandemic situation has stopped face-to-face teaching and learning activities. Although they still get education through online classes. However, children with disabilities have their own problems.

“Imagine children with disabilities going online. While so far the practice they follow at school, for example, many teachers have to use the touch of their hands, pointing where the example is. How when they make something they have to be shown by the teacher. when school is online,” said Dewi.

Difficult to get treatment

Dewi continued, many people with disabilities who were exposed to COVID-19 could not enter the hospital because of their dependence on caregiver (nanny). This condition also puts people with disabilities who are exposed to COVID-19 must be in difficult situations.

“Because if you are in a hospital you should not be visited and left alone. Especially with health workers who are currently under tremendous pressure in their work. People with disabilities who are exposed to COVID-19 also make their families or caregivers very vulnerable,” he said.

A number of local government cleaners clean garbage from the beach at Kali Adem Port, Jakarta, June 8, 2021. (Photo: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

A number of local government cleaners clean garbage from the beach at Kali Adem Port, Jakarta, June 8, 2021. (Photo: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

Not only that, the COVID-19 pandemic has also made people with disabilities who have been dependent on drugs for their lives have to work extra especially with regard to their mobility.

Dewi gave an example, usually people with disabilities before the COVID-19 pandemic did not have to bother to get medicine. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic they had to be willing to increase their mobility than usual, because the supply of medicines was also reduced.

“They have to come who used to be able to take medicine every six months. Now it has to be once a month and sometimes even once a week. It will be a burden for people with disabilities and also their families in terms of transportation, mobility from one place to another,” concluded Dewi.

PRT is difficult to process

Meanwhile, a representative from the Domestic Worker Advocacy Network (Jala PRT), Muliawati, shared the bitter condition of their group during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the domestic workers in DKI Jakarta live and live in densely populated tenement houses.

A number of residents queue to receive assistance from President Joko Widodo amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Jakarta, Friday, July 16, 2021. (Photo: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

A number of residents queue to receive assistance from President Joko Widodo amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Jakarta, Friday, July 16, 2021. (Photo: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

Problems arise when one of the families of the domestic workers is exposed to COVID-19. Like what happened to Muliawati, her mother is currently exposed to COVID-19. Ironically, they have to stay under the same roof because their mother is self-isolating.

“If the suggestion that we have to separate rooms and bathrooms is rather difficult for domestic workers who live in tenement houses. Even though there are two bedrooms. But we only have one bathroom. So we use the bathroom alternately,” said Muliawati at same online press conference.

It doesn’t stop there, he said, until now it is still difficult for domestic workers who are exposed to COVID-19 to access medicines and vitamins. This of course makes domestic workers have to look for medicines and vitamins independently which makes them have to spend more.

“Expenditures are four times more than daily expenses as we have to use savings,” he concluded. [aa/em]


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.

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