PANAJI: On the special occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day, 75 national flags were unfurled and hoisted by specially-abled and underprivileged citizens of the state outside the popular Caculo Mall.
To commemorate 75 years of Independence under the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ which was recently announced by the honourable Prime Minister, Caculo Mall and the Disability Rights Association of Goa took a noble initiative to highlight and celebrate the lives of locals who frequently find themselves on the periphery of society.
Shamik Caculo, Director of Caculo Mall, mentioned, “Over the course of the three-day celebration of Independence, we had put up booths at the atrium in the mall where people with disabilities sold their wares. Such activities empower a section of people who need maximum support to get into the mainstream. Additionally, DRAG held educational seminars about financial planning, the rights of persons with disability and sign language. We have organised a pop-up bazaar with DRAG twice now, and Caculo Mall will always be ready to stand at the forefront to support such causes. The aim of such events is to sensitise the public and spread awareness of the abilities of this community and how their growth will eventually help the country to grow.”
Celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav differently, Caculo Mall felicitated specially-abled people for their achievements in life. The achievers included Bashir Nawar, who has cerebral palsy and makes paper bags and walks them with a cart to sell them to the market vendors. Akshay Atchut Fadte, who also has cerebral palsy, runs a successful advertising and marketing firm called Atchut Marketing. Santan Rebello, suffering from cerebral palsy, is one of the people preserving the traditional occupation known as Rotesanv—the art of weaving chairs. Rama Parsekar, who is visually impaired, works as a computer trainer at Enabled India in Bangalore. Josefina Fernandes, a sign language instructor and member of the Goa association for the deaf who works towards deaf accessibility and empowerment, conducted a session on sign language with a live demonstration.
Avelino De Sa, the president of the Disability Rights Association of Goa, said, “The goal of this three-day event was to highlight the abilities of those with special needs, and DRAG has always worked to educate and sensitise the public to the needs of the disabled population. People from the disabled community should take advantage of the numerous work opportunities that are accessible to them in India. These three days proved to be very encouraging, and we got a lot of positive responses from the public.”
People from all walks of life attended this event showing their support for the disabled and underprivileged community. The 3 days event witnessed a tremendous amount of appreciation from the citizens of Goa.