disabled children and old people support in Hissar, Yavan and Dushanbe
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough getting the opportunity to visit some centres for disabled people here in Tajikistan. In fact I was asked to go and shoot pictures. Now that was great! Unless it’s for professional reasons you probably won’t get access to these places let alone shoot photographs. And now I was given a chance to do both at the same time! I didn’t think twice to accept. I packed my gear and off we went. I expected limited time to set up so I took only the most important stuff: my camera, a fast 50mm lens, a 70-300 zoom, a speedlight and one of those practical pop-up silver reflectors, in case I run out of daylight. Forget about tripods, remotes or strobes and umbrellas. Don’t want to drag that up the stairs of a four floor building. It turned out I guessed prety well that day. When we left Dushanbe it was cloudy and raining. Good I brought my reflector I thought. And throughout the morning we rushed from location to location and floor to floor. Not bad to travel light either.
A specialist in the social sector had warned me to be prepaired for some distressing situations the day before, so I braced myself for gloomy spaces with crying kids in run down facilities. Boy, I got it wrong, thank god. We first visiting a centre for disabled kids in Hissar, some 30km out of Dushanbe. It turned out to be a happy place filled with toys and cheers and an army of friendly nurses. And they all wanted to be photographed. One particular fellow followed me throughout the centre and kept popping up in front of my lens. After a few hours of shooting and when we were about to leave I realised that actually the best light was in the entrance of the building. Luckily a brave boy was learning how to walk at the very moment, encouraged by a therapist. I took my camera back out of the bag and continued shooting. Two good lessons for the future I thought: first look for the light, and never pack your camera until your back in the car. The other places we visited were no different. It resulted in us having a good feeling about social centres in this countrty and me having a series of great shots. You can check them out on the images from Tajikistan gallery. For more info on social support for disabled people in Tajikistan go to http://www.cbm.org/Tajikistan-292813.php or http://www.unicef.org/tajikistan/media_6780.html