DUSHANBE, July 8, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- Tajikistan marks Day of peoples with Disabilities and Elderly today.

On this occasion, an exhibition of works by people with disabilities is being held in Dushanbe today, Asadullo Zikrikhudoyev, head of the Society of People with Disabilities of Dushanbe “Imkoniyat,” said.

According to him, the event is held in the framework of a joint project being implemented by the National Association of People with Disabilities of Tajikistan, the Dushanbe Society of People with Disabilities and the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan in Tajikistan ((AAR JAPAN).

Some handicrafts and baked goods made by people with disabilities are being exposed for purchase at the fair.  The selling goods are made by people with disabilities who are members of the National Association of People with Disabilities of Tajikistan and took the vocational courses held by AAR JAPAN (cooking ad sewing courses).  Proceeds from sale of products will be used for further development of the organizations for people with disabilities.

AAR JAPAN is a non-Governmental Organization (NGO) aiming to provide emergency assistance, assistance to people with disabilities, and mine action, among other operations.  It was established in 1979 as an organization with no political, ideological, or religious affiliation.  AAR JAPAN currently has offices in eight countries.  It has been implementing projects in Tajikistan since 2001 targeting on emergency assistance, medical and agricultural sectors for persons with disabilities.

The Imkoniyat Society has worked in Dushanbe since 1989 and some 7,000 people with physical disabilities are now members of this organization.   According to the statistical data from Imkoniyat, some 160,000 people with physical disabilities now live in the country; some 12,000 of them live in Dushanbe.