International Purple Fest – Goa-2024 – begins with grandeur and hope for Persons with Dissabilities (PwD’s)

As the second edition of the International Purple Fest in Goa-2024 begins, dignitaries invite everyone to join in a lively celebration, promoting empowerment, inclusivisity and diversity

Panaji, 8 January, 2024: The much-awaited International Purple Festival was inaugurated on Monday at the D.B Ground in Panaji. The six-day event is organised jointly by the Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the Directorate of Social Welfare under the Government of Goa, this festival is in collaboration with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.

Chief Minister, Dr.Pramod Sawant graced the opening ceremony as the chief guest, joined by the esteemed guest of honour, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri. Ramdas Athawale.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant expressed pride in Goa’s successful initiative for the disabled community. He acknowledged the uniqueness of the event, highlighting that even Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised their efforts. Emphasizing the significance of inclusivity, he commended the emcee, his sister, for her excellent role. The aspiration of the International Purple Fest is to unite communities and continue the impactful work. “You all have a special place in our hearts and are very special to our PM Narendra Modi. I sincerely appreciate how special you are the many talents and gifts you are all blessed with. As part of the programmes like Skill India, Fit India and Inclusive India the ministry of Social Justice is working towards creating an inclusive society and providing opportunities for you.”

Minister for Social Welfare Subhash Phal Dessai expressed, “Our commitment is to offer comprehensive facilities for all delegates in Goa, ensuring a seamless experience. We are dedicated to addressing any issues our delegates may encounter.” He extended gratitude to all Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) attending the event in Goa, as well as the diligent efforts of participating NGOs and volunteers who have tirelessly worked for over a month to make the event possible.

State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Guruprasad Pawaskar emphasized the growth of Purple Fest as a significant celebration. He shared, “Countless sleepless nights have gone into making this event a success. The collective dedication of everyone working day and night ensures a fantastic experience for all in

Goa. A heartfelt welcome is extended to international delegates from Bhutan, Japan, and other nations joining this purple movement. This festival is by the people, for the people, and of the people. The people of Goa have again opened their hearts to host this International Purple Fest.”

The special invitees included the Hon’ble Minister of Health of Goa, Shri. Vishwajit Rane, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Shripad Naik along with the Hon’ble Member of Rajya Sabha,

Shri Sadanand Tanavade. Also present at the ceremony were the Hon’ble Minister for Social Welfare in Goa, Subhash Phal Dessai, and the the Chief Secretary of the Government of Goa, Dr. Puneet Kumar Goel, IAS.

A highlight of the Opening Ceremony was the rendition of the Purple Anthem titled ‘Dhumal,’ featuring performances by Persons with Disabilities from various corners of Goa, alongside revered creators from the Indian Music Industry, symbolizing inclusivity and unity.

The inaugural also marked the launched India’s first cloud-based IVRS for Disability Information Line (DIL) offers a 24×7 information service on 21 disabilities. Besides, Purple Fest Playbook was launched which provides an overview of the work done in the first edition, while also giving an overview of what actions can be taken before the event, during event and post the event to ensure its accessible to all.

Another interesting aspect was the launch of of the channel PURPLE TV BHARAT, dedicated to the Person with Disability Community which aims to highlight their ideas, success stories, interviews, and achievements globally through a dedicated channel.

The event came to an end with the much awaited Purple Rain, that showcased various performances such as children from the National Association for the Blind (NAB) performed the international Mando, there was the Mussal dance, a traditional Goan folk dance, Alice William from Calcutta presented the ancient classical dance form ‘Saraswati Vandana,’, an engaging performance by Hema Sardesaai and others.

Highlights of Day 1

Goa was set ablaze with the spirit of inclusivity as International Purple Fest unveiled its several events on Monday (Day 1).

The day kicked off with the inspiring Deafblindness Conclave at Gasper Dias. Experts guided delegates through crucial topics like mental health, communication rights, and empowerment, building a bridge of understanding. Specialised workshops on mobility, sensory development, and emotional well-being

equipped educators, parents, and adults, fostering a supportive community for the deafblind were part of the conclave. At Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industries a panel discussion was held on ‘Championing

Inclusivity: Sharing experiences in employing persons with disabilities’ was inaugurated by Minister for Industries Mauvin Godinho, Minister for Social Welfare Subhash Phaldesai, Commissioner for persons with disabilities Guruprasad Pawaskar in the presence of chairperson of Sangath Monica Bariya, executive director of Keystone Institute India, Elizabeth Nueville and others. The discussion was focused on inclusivity in workforce, how the change in dialogues is happening, and what it takes to make that change happen.

Meanwhile, Purple Exhibition transformed into a vibrant marketplace of diversity, showcasing India’s cultural richness through the NDFC’s Divya Kala Mela. From eco-friendly paper products to personalized perfumes, each stall whispered a story of inclusivity and craftsmanship.

Celebrating human connection, as part of Purple Spectrum the Purple We Care Film Festival was launched at INOX, with a potent dose of empathy. Heartfelt documentaries like “Post Dark,” “I Am Special,” and “Butterfly Circus” alongside inspiring shorts moved audiences, while student participants from 10 schools learned to embrace disability challenges through the power of storytelling.

Stepping beyond the realm of words, Purple Kaleidoscope at the Art Gallery in Kala Academy aimed to unite all under the banner of art and music. From blossoming flowers painted in vibrant hues to joyous melodies filling the air, the event became a canvas for inclusivity, reminding everyone that the language of creativity transcends all barriers.

As Day 1 of the week-long festival came to end, it resonated with a powerful message of inclusivity being a vibrant celebration of human diversity.

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