Panaji: On Day 1 on International Purple Fest – Goa 2024, a National Conclave on Deafblindness at Gasper Dias, Miramar. This is part of the Purple Convention that is an important part of the fest.
Curated by Caritas Goa and Sense India, under the guidance of the the Office of the State Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities, Government of Goa, Directorate of Social Welfare, Government of Goa and Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, the conclave began with the lighting of the lamp.
Present for the opening were Minister of Social and Welfare, Shri Subhash Phal Dessai, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Guruprasad Pawaskar, Senior Specialist Network Support at Sense International, Shrutilata Singh. Other dignitaries included, Director of Caritas Goa, Fr. Maverick Fernandes along with Pankaj Kumar Maurya and Uddham Kerkar.
Minister of Social Welfare Subhash Phal Dessai expressed gratitude at the support garnered from all departmernts, and people to make this fest a reality. “International Purple Fest is accessbile to all. It is to to empower individuals not only in the educational sector but in sports, economic and oher sectors too.
Speaking to delegates gathered, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Guruprasad Pawaskar commended the involvement of general public in organising International Purple Fest-Goa 2024. He also shed light on the increase in the number of deaf and blind voters. Pawaskar said: “International Purple Fest has come into light as a means for allowing for networking among people, understanding problems about dissabilities, and learning new things here.”
At the conclave, resource person Uttam Kumar discussed the importance of mental health, sexual needs and general health. He said “People with disabilities do not need to be fixed; they need to be accepted for who they are.” Shrutilata Singh educated the delegates present about the importance of knowing their rights (Rights for Person with Disabilities) and stated the significance of the various forms of communication. She said: “Training people with disabilities to communicate is of utmost importance.”
The conclave catered to the holistic development of Persons with Disabilities (PwD’s). Gabel Mascarenhas, Senior Project Coordinator of Caritas speaking about the conclave said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Here, specialized professionals lead sessions focused on mobility, sensory development, and emotional well-being, creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment.
The conclave that went on for the entire day also had a training seminar for the three networks of Sense India, Abhi-Prerna (Educators), Prayaas (Parents), and Udaan (Adutls with deaf blindness).