The International Women’s Day 2024 was celebrated with great enthusiasm with the theme “Employment, Empowerment, and Independence,” focusing on ‘women with disabilities’ at the Sanjay Centre for Special Education, Porvorim.

The State-Level event was organised by the Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, in association with Rotary Club of Panaji Riviera and Disability Alliance for Inclusive Goa.

Meghana Shetgaonkar, Director for the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Government of Goa, was the chief guest on the occasion. Guruprasad Pawaskar, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Denzil Xavier, President of the Rotary Club Panaji Riviera and Sakshi Kale, National Gold Medalist in Para Athletics and Para Khelo India Games, were also present among others

Felicitation of empowered ‘women with disabilities’, was the highlight of the day. Among them were Ratna More, a Data Processing Assistant at the Directorate of Census Operation, Goa, and Nikita Kuttikar, an Accountant at the Directorate of Official Language, both Persons with Locomotor Disabilities; Sampada Naik, Lower Division Clerk at the Civil Court, Panaji, Resha Vernekar, Computer and Music Teacher at the National Association for the Blind Goa State Branch, both persons with visual impairment; Hrishita Raikar, Teacher at the Sanjay Centre for Special Education, Goa, Porvorim, and Sadiya Bandodkar, Fashion Designer, both Persons with Hearing Impairment.    

Despite their disabilities, the felicitated women display an exemplary example of ‘Employment, Empowerment and Independence’ and inspire others with and without disabilities.

Students and faculty of the Dnyanvardhini Divyang Training College, Vasco, also actively participated in the Women’s Day 2024 celebration, providing significant support in organising the mega event for women with disabilities from all corners of Goa.

Guruprasad Pawaskar, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in his welcome note, emphasised the empowerment of ‘persons with disabilities’ and the government’s efforts in this sector over the past several years. He highlighted yesterday’s artificial limbs distribution programme, where around 300 men and women benefited from free artificial limbs.

The event featured enlightening speeches by dignitaries, followed by a talk on Mental Health of women with disabilities and family life in general, delivered by Percy Cardozo.

The event was followed by a spectacular performance by girls from the National Association for the Blind. Josefina Fernandes and Muskan Shaikh served as Indian Sign Language Interpreters for the event, ensuring that the event was accessible to the women with hearing impairment. The proceedings concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Tasmiya Shaikh, in Indian Sign Language.


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