CHDE 2017 ©
For Taron Arzumanyan who lives in the village of Geghashen, Kotayk region, Armenia, the live
has been divided into before and after in 2004. At that year did he find that unknown object, while
playing as a 13-year-old teenager on the streets of his village. The unknown “toy”, unfortunately,
turned out to be an unexploded ordnance, left there due to someone’s carelessness. As a result – the
cut left hand and a livelong blindness.
But Taron did not give up after all things he had to go through: he finished successfully the school
for the blind, married later on and had got a child. Nevertheless, people like him, unfortunately,
have no place in our society.
21000 AMD (around 50$) of state monthly compensation payments for being a handicap of the 1-st
group. This is all, that Taron gets from the state to keep his living.
However, despite of their condition, people like Taron can still be helpful for our society. For
example, Taron is able to use the electric sewing machine, do some minor reparation works, some
wood-cutting. The problem is, however, that there is no corresponding institution where Taron
and people with same problems can apply to get the appropriate assistance to find jobs, any social
engagement or whatsoever to feel themselves part of the society again.
The two former Factories for the Blind, which belonged to the RA Union of the Blind, that used to
exist and function in the past, both do not work. Although, the Union itself exists, it acts mostly as
a formal structure and does not provide any real assistance to the blind.
Upon the case, the CHDE SNCO visited Taron Arzumanyan and registered him in its mine victims’
Vardan Gabrielyan, who lives in the village of Vazashen, Tavush region, Armenia, has lost his leg,
as a result of a mine explosion. Nevertheless, his endless and strong desire to live proves it one
more time, that only we are the masters of our own fortunes.
After losing his leg, Vardan did not get depressed, but, just the opposite: he continued to lead a full
life and even managed to create and open his own small business. Today Vardan Gabrielyan
executes his whole working potential through running his own food store, which has already
become popular among Vardan’s co-villagers.
While visiting Vardan, we, the staff of the CHDE SNCO together with the ICRC representatives,
felt proud, realizing the fact, that we could also contribute anyhow to this success story.
The story of Ruben Parsadanyan is special. While serving in the army, he witnessed suddenly one
day, how his younger co-servants are touching the mines and ammunition, violating thus the rules
of safety. Upon seeing that, Ruben, reacts through intervening immediately and taking the mine
out of the hands of his friends, thus, saving their lives, but, the mine, unfortunately, being
exploded in his own hands. Ruben Parsadanyan has lost his sight for ever, but he will live the rest
of his life with the feeling of having been lived his life in a correct way. Although one of his
friends died, at least the other one had survived, thanks to Ruben’s immediate actions.
Upon being informed on the case, the Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise SNCO
visited Ruben together with the Center of Social Economic Innovations and Studies NGO. The
latter presented a PC to Ruben. From now on, Ruben would be able to use a computer with the
help of a special program (Arev) for the blind, which has been installed for him at his home.
STORIES OF MINE VICTIMS