The International Purple Fest, Goa – 2024, has announced 22 Purple Ambassadors, representing 21 types of disabilities listed under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016, along with significant inclusion of Spinal Cord Injury. Notably, three of these Purple Ambassadors are from Goa.
Shri. Subhash Phal Dessai while addressing the media at Porvorim said, “Our aim behind selecting 22 Purple Ambassadors is to foster awareness and sensitization regarding various types of disabilities. By showcasing the diversity, we strive to create a more informed and understanding community”.
Adding he said, “For the representation of Locomotor Disability, Hearing Impaired Disability, and Hemophilia Disability types, the Purple Fest team has selected three ambassadors from Goa: Vishant Nagvekar, Prasad Joshi, and Radhesh Varty, respectively. These individuals, through their dedicated efforts, have not only established themselves in their respective fields but are also actively working to empower other Persons with Disabilities.”
Phal Dessai also extended his thanks to the Purple Ambassadors Coordinators, Anjali Vyas, a Person with Multiple Sclerosis and Purple Ambassador 2023; Manju Sharma, a Person with Chronic Neurological Condition and Purple Ambassador 2023; Aarti Batra, a Person with Thalassemia and Purple Ambassador 2023; and Shashank Pandey, a Person with Low Vision and a Disability lawyer and the Founder of Politics & Disability Forum.
He said, “We appreciate and take pride in the dedication of our Purple Ambassadors from Purple Fest 2023 and Shashank Pandey, who voluntarily stepped forward to support the International Purple Fest team. They played a crucial role in assisting us with the selection of Purple Ambassadors for the 2024 edition.”
Shri. Guruprasad Pawaskar, the Goa State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities stated that the Purple Ambassadors will serve as role models for young PwDs across the globe. We aim to cultivate self-reliance among young people with disabilities by showcasing the journey of the Purple Ambassadors. Their experiences will help inspire and guide young individuals with disabilities to explore diverse career options and gain a deeper understanding of their rights.
Adding he said, “The Purple Ambassadors will take on the crucial role of leaders, representing different disability types. Through advocacy and representation, they will contribute to breaking barriers and creating opportunities for greater inclusion and accessibility”.
Shri. Taha Haaziq, Secretary, Goa State Commission for Persons with Disabilities said, “The International Purple Fest stands out as a unique and inclusive festival in India. That’s why we have made sincere efforts to ensure inclusivity in selecting Purple Ambassadors. Our choice of ambassadors spans rural and urban areas, includes individuals from tribal backgrounds, the LGBTQAI spectrum, various professions, and represents diverse regions across India.”
Shri. Ajit Panchwadkar, Director, Directorate of Social Welfare, Govt of Goa has urged people with disabilities worldwide to register for the unique and inclusive festival. He emphasized, “The Purple Fest is now reaching a global audience, and we have waived the delegate registration fee. Seize this chance and join the Purple Movement – don’t miss out on this opportunity.”
*22 Purple Ambassadors of the International Purple Fest, Goa – 2024*
1) Person with Blindness – Saurabh Prasad
2) Person with Low Vision – Prashant Naik
3) Leprosy Cured Person – Priya Lal
4) Deaf Person – Prasad Joshi (Goa)
5) Person with Locomotor Disability – Vishant Nagvekar (Goa)
6) Person with Dwarfism – Disha Pandya
7) Person with Intellectual Disability – Swasti Mehta
8) Person with Mental Illness – Reshma Valliappan
9) Autistic Person – Aditi Gangrade
10) Person with Cerebral Palsy – Chaitanya Mukund
11) Person with Muscular Dystrophy – Anubha Singhal
12) Person with Chronic Neurological conditions – Dr. Anubha Mahajan
13) Person with Specific Learning Disability – K Vaishali
14) Person with Multiple Sclerosis – Smitha Sadasivan
15) Person with Speech and Language disability – Puneet Singh Singhal
16) Person with Thalassemia – Pooja Gupta
17) Person with Hemophilia – Radhesh Varty (Goa)
18) Person with Sickle Cell disease – Nomesh Verma
19) Person with Multiple Disabilities – Shrutilata Singh
20) Acid Attack Survivor – Sonali Mukherjee
21) Parkinson’s disease – Dr. Shanthipriya Siva
22) Spinal Cord Injury – Ekta Bhyan