As a prelude to the Purple Fest 2023, India’s one-of-a-kind inclusive festival that embraces and celebrates Persons with Disabilities (PwD), an Inter-state Blind Cricket Tournament commenced today at Panjim Gymkhana ground, Panaji.
The inaugural Purple Fest is being organised by Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Goa and Directorate of Social Welfare.
The blind cricket event was inaugurated by the Minister of Social Welfare, Subhash Phal Dessai and State Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities, Guruprasad Pawaskar. Inspector General of Police, Omvir Singh Bishnoi, IPS, graced the inaugural. Also present for the launch were Co-ordinator, Dr. Ketan Bhatikar, member, Blind Cricket Association, Yashwant Naik, and member of Goa Cricket Association, Aditya Angle.
A total of six teams are participating in the tournament. Goa, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Pondicherry and Telangana will be in action over the course of three days.
Inspector General of Police, Omvir Singh Bishnoi expressed happiness over the unique event. “We should highlight this unique festival. All Indians must come together to facilitate the youngsters and welcome them to play in the beautiful land of Goa.”
The remaining matches will be held at Dharbandora ground while the final match will be played at the GCA ground on December 8.
Meanwhile a Purple Experience Zone will be set up from January 6-8, at Inox Courtyard from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for activities and workshops that promote a more inclusive society, states a press release.
Experience what it is like to navigate the life of a person with disability at the Purple Experience Zone. Immerse yourself in activities designed to raise awareness and understanding of the experiences of persons with disabilities. Participate in creating a more inclusive, safe, and dignified world for everyone.
From challenging obstacles to helpful advancements, this zone covers it all.
Jagruti Mela is a platform which is curated for parents/ guardians of children with disabilities to provide information about education, skilling, schemes, training, and livelihood opportunities. In this area persons with disabilities will be guided to take the right path from the beginning of their journey resulting in successful livelihood.
Kavya Srinivasan, Manager of EnAble India tells us, “As a parent or guardian of a child with disabilities, it can be easy to feel like you are alone in your journey. But the truth is, you are not alone. There are many people and organisations who are dedicated to supporting and guiding individuals with disabilities towards sustainable livelihoods.”
It can be difficult to find the right resources and support to ensure that your child has every opportunity to succeed and thrive. That’s where Jagruti Mela comes in. “Jagruti Mela is the unavailable opportunity for many Persons with Disabilities and their community. Person with Disabilities will able to see their future and making plan to reach right service providers towards sustainable livelihood,” she adds.
Inclusive Carnival is a pioneering activity developed by Akshadhaa Foundation. The foundation has been training and educating individuals with neuro-development challenges for over a decade now. Experience a fun and welcoming environment at the carnival-like events created specifically for interacting with people with disabilities. In a non-invasive and non-judgmental setting, everyone is invited to participate and contribute to the culture of inclusion of children with disabilities.
The curator of Inclusive Carnival, Sridhar Chari says, “The Carnival is a fun and experiential pathway to understand and engage with the neuro-diverse brain which is still a grey area for science.
“We are happy to share, that, as the next logical step, Akshadhaa is launching an Assisted Living facility for neurodiverse persons and their families,” Chari adds.
Antarchakshu is a simulation workshop designed to provide a sneak peek into the world of a person with disability. Participants will experience simulated activities for a few minutes and be made to perform a few simple tasks in a safe environment.
Dr Sam Taraporevala, Executive Director of XRCVC shares “This Purple Experience Zone consists of a dual exposure to participants. After going through a simulation of disability that is designed to dispel myths, break stereotypes, this zone also creates a mindset of equal opportunity.”
Participants will be led through a comprehensive Assistive Technologies exhibition where they will get an insight into:
• How persons with blindness and low vision use computers, conduct scientific experiments, play sports and live a holistic life.
• How persons with locomotor disability can use a motorised stair climbing chair.
• How persons with disability in the upper limbs can control a computer using just their eyeballs.
• How those who are hard of hearing can use technology to conduct seamless communication
• How persons with disability can function independently and more efficiently using modern smart technology
Museum of Possibilities holds infinite possibilities. This space encourages interaction with the community of users, creators and innovators and persons with disability. This zone caters to many aspects of a life of a person with disability- from education, employment and healthcare to transportation, housing and others.
With the theme ‘Live’, ‘Work’ and ‘Play’, the exhibits are not categorised as per a specific disability but showcases solutions to overcome barriers faced on a daily basis.
Hethal Solanki, Manager, Museum of Possibilities, tells us more: “The Museum of Possibilities will demonstrate an accessible home model with adapted products and assistive aids and technology for everyday use and access. This will be an experience zone for everyone to understand accessibility and universally designed products to foster independent living.”
PURPLE WE CARE FILM FESTIVAL
The impact of audiovisuals is phenomenal and besides being educative and empowering, films have been an important way to bring about change in society.
The curator of the We Care Film Festival, Satish Kapoor says, “We have been hosting movie screenings for the past 12 years and are extremely pleased to be able to do the same for the Purple Fest. It is first festival that focuses on the accessibility for persons with disability. We have not seen anything like this ever before, in Goa or in all of India.”
Kapoor has conceptualised and produced the National Anthem featuring Amitabh Bachchan and children with different disabilities. 25 films will be screened over the course of the Purple Fest for over 5,000 people. “This will be our 199th venue for We Care Film Festival and I’m excited,” Kapoor adds.
Some of the films that will be screened are ‘The Wizard of Needles’, ‘National Anthem in sign’, ‘Virtue’, ‘Means to Live’, ‘I am special, So are you’, ‘Tiny steps’, etc. The films will be at Inox, Panaji.
As much as Purple Fest celebrates diversity, it seems to have brought about awareness among the general Goan population who wish to come and experience the Purple Zone and learn more about disability and inclusion.