In the continual focus series of ‘Know your Purple Ambassadors’ in the run-up to the upcoming Purple Fest 2023, India’s first-of-its-kind inclusive fest; we pay tribute to the achievements and efforts of Goa’s own Krunal Thakur and Mahadev Sawant.
‘PURPLE AMBASSADORS’ – Part 3
Krunal Thakur has a condition of Muscular Dystrophy. He started 2 small scale “Start-ups” in 2019, one start-up in Real Estate sector known as “PHD” & one start-up of Travel Agency under name “Megha Tour & Travel”, to look after family business of guest house. He is working to solve various issues affecting the disabled persons in Pernem taluka and empowerment of disabled persons since 2015. Krunal has worked as campaign manager of various key political party members. He also recently fought for the Village Panchayat elections of Arambol, against political heavyweights and campaigned like his peer non-disabled candidates in his ward. He received state-wide acclamation by people, media, politicians as the first and the youngest wheel-chaired person who fought village panchayat election in Goa. Individually, he provided 74 jobs in private sectors to unemployed youths of Mandrem Constituency. He aspires to be in a key political position to drive change for persons with disabilities.
Mahadev Sawant has low vision, but that doesn’t stop him from carrying out various tasks. He is a Lower Division Clerk at Goa Medical College, Bambolim. He holds a Masters in Sociology and a Diploma in Computer Application for visually impaired with JAWS & NVDA. He has won various awards such as Best Disabled Employee Award in 2018 by Social Welfare Department Govt of Goa; Best Teacher Award in 2017 by National Association for the Blind, Goa State Branch, Best Community vocational Service Award in 2015 by Rotary club of Mid-Town Panjim. He has working experience of almost a decade for the welfare of person with visual impairment. He is currently appointed as a member on State Advisory Board on Disability.
Manju Sharma has a chronic and Neurological disability. She is working with EnAble India. Manju is presently posted in Noamundi, Jharkhand, mostly managing the training programmes at Sabal for over 4 years now. Sabal is a flagship programme of Tata Steel Foundation working towards life of dignity for People with Disabilities with EnAble India as its Knowledge Partner since inception. Manju grew up in Kolkata, completing her education with graduation in commerce. She began her career with a short stint in the pharma industry as a Medical Service Representative moving on to join aviation, initially as a ground staff and later as a cabin crew.
Nidhi Ashok Goyal is person with Blindness, an activist and comedian and the founder and executive director of the leading non profit organisation Rising Flame, working for leadership and rights of women, youth, and persons with disabilities in India. She has been working on disability rights and gender justice for the past 12 years at the national, regional, and global levels-through research, writing, policy influence, and art. She has been appointed on core group of persons with disabilities by national human rights commission India, is on the diversity and inclusion task force of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, is the governing body member of ADD India, and sits on the advisory board of Voice- a grant making project by the Dutch ministry. She has steered a leading global women’s rights organisation – AWID- as the youngest and first ever disabled president, and made huge strides in inclusion as the former global advisor to UN Women’s Executive Director. Her leadership and work have been appreciated and awarded by the government of India, National Association for the Blind, ABP News and Sur Optimist Mumbai amongst others.
To be continued…