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Gov’t, TV asked to give disabled singers jobs

A blind woman sings for donations on the side of a road in Phnom Penh in November last year.
A blind woman sings for donations on the side of a road in Phnom Penh in November last year.

Gov’t, TV asked to give disabled singers jobs

The Disability Action Council (DAC) wants the government to find positions within ministries for the Kingdom’s disabled citizens and has already asked TV and radio stations to provide airtime for them to showcase their artistic talents, according to a Facebook post yesterday by DAC secretary-general Em Chanmakara.

The appeal comes in the wake of a widely criticised citywide ban on disabled people performing in the streets of Phnom Penh, which had long been their source of income.

Chab To, director of the Disabled Musicians Association, said he welcomed help for disabled people, but was worried that TV stations would only offer a platform to the exceptionally talented, and that the majority of disabled people lacked the qualifications and training to work for the government.

Nop Channarin, news director at state-owned Apsara Television, said yesterday that his station had previously offered disabled people jobs as performers and as sign-language interpreters, but financial constraints and the performers’ abilities put an end to the practice, adding that he would raise the idea again with station management.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said that the prime minister had already ordered all ministries to take on a quota of disabled employees, although he did not have the precise percentage on hand, and added that the private sector had been asked to follow suit.

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