Social Welfare Minister Subhash Phal Dessai on Tuesday announced the government’s plan to set up a dedicated department for Persons with Disability.
Addressing a press conference to announce Purple Ambassadors, he stated that this independent department will aim to centralise services, eliminating coordination issues with other departments like health, sports, and education among others.
“Our goal is to provide seamless services and ensure minimal problems for PwDs. It will also have separate budget allocations, office, and a separate director, ultimately empowering PwDs socially, emotionally, and economically,” he said.
The International Purple Fest, Goa - 2024, meanwhile 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. Three of these Purple Ambassadors are from Goa wherein Locomotor Disability will be presented by Vishant Nagvekar, Hearing Impaired Disability - Prasad Joshi, and Hemophilia Disability - Radhesh Varty.
Phal Dessai said that their 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,” he said.
Goa State Commissioner for PwDs Guruprasad Pawaskar, also present at the press conference stated that the Purple Ambassadors will serve as role models for young PwDs across the globe.
“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,” he added.
The Commission’s Secretary Taha Haaziq added that their choice of ambassadors spans rural and urban areas, including PwDs from tribal backgrounds, the LGBTQAI spectrum, various professions, and represents diverse regions across India.