PANAJI: The Goa State Commission for Persons with Disabilities in association with Directorate of Social Welfare and Entertainment Society of Goa, have announced the first-of-its-kind ‘The Purple Fest’. The inclusive festival will be held from 6th to 8th January 2023 in Panaji, stated Minister for Social Welfare – Subhash Phaldessai at a press conference on Wednesday.
Also present for the briefing were Subhashchandra, IAS, Secretary, Directorate of Social Welfare; Sandhya Kamat, Director, Directorate of Social Welfare; Guruprasad Pawaskar, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities; and Taha Haaziq, Secretary, Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.
While addressing the media, Phaldessai revealed that ‘The Purple Fest’ is a three-day inclusive event which aims to illustrate how people can unite to support and make everyone in our society, feel included.
The event will feature live performances, grand exhibitions, sporting events, immersive experience zones, and an innovation mela. It will also include exciting competitions, accessible movie screenings, a mega car rally, and discussions on vital subjects like inclusive education, employment, tourism, and independent living.
Phaldessai said: “The biggest barrier for people with disabilities is how society disables them. People with disabilities deal daily with challenges such as discrimination, stigma, and stereotypes. To become an all-inclusive and accessible society we need to change the way we view disability and collaborate with the disabled community to break down barriers”.
He further said, “We should see disability as the attitudinal, physical, systemic, communication, and technological barriers created by society. We do not deny the impact of an individual’s impairment, but as a society it is our responsibility to accommodate people living with disability, rather than expecting the individual to accommodate for society”.
Adding further, Phaldessai explained: “Thus this fest is a fantastic opportunity to illustrate that disabilities are not barriers. Rather, it is people’s attitude towards disability that acts as a barrier”.
In recent years, the Purple colour has been increasingly associated with disability, symbolising a new positive narrative about the contribution of ‘Persons with Disabilities’ in the workforce and the wider community, said Guruprasad Pawaskar, the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.