Directorate of Social Welfare in association with the Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and Goa Association of the Deaf, commemorated the International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Languages.
Panaji: In a vibrant display of inclusivity and appreciation, the International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Languages were celebrated on Sunday at Manohar Parrikar Memorial Hall, Sanjay Centre for Special Education, Porvorim. The event was organised by the Directorate of Social Welfare in association with the Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and Goa Association of the Deaf. The event was a huge success due to the efforts of Shri.Gaurish Malgaonkar, President of GAD, Prasad Joshi, General Secretary of GAD and all the office bearers of Goa Association of the Deaf.
The Chief Guest for the inaugural function was MLA, Poriem Constituency Deviya Rane while the guest of honour was Commissioner of PWD, Guruprasad Pawaskar. Also present was Minister for IT and Tourism, Rohan Khaunte. Executive member of All India Sports Council of Deaf, New Delhi and President of Goa Sports Council of the Deaf, John Justine Fernandes highlighted the importance of sign language and the need to integrate the deaf community in society.
Speaking on the occasion, MLA, Poriem Constituency Deviya Rane said, “Let us embrace the beauty of diversity in our world, for in the silent eloquence of sign language, we find a universal language of unity. In celebrating the International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Language, let us remember that our differences are what make us unique, and our shared humanity is what binds us together in the tapestry of life.” She added that she is looking forward to attending the International Purple Fest 2024 that will bring to Goa PwDs from across the country and internationally and being at such an event teaches one more lessons or life, empathy, inclusivity and more.
Minister of Social Welfare Subhash Phal Dessai said, “As the Minister of Social Welfare, it is my honour to stand before you today, not only to celebrate the International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Language but also to reaffirm our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility for all. Our mission is to ensure that every person, regardless of their abilities, has the same opportunities and rights as everyone else. Let us strive for a society where the voices of the Deaf community are heard loud and clear, where sign language is not just a means of communication but a symbol of unity and respect. At International Purple Fest 2024 we will have a better understanding of issues of Persons with Disabilities through the several programmes and knowledge sessions that equip us to be more understanding towards PwDs”.
Minister of IT and Tourism, Rohan Khaunte who was present for the function stressed that Tourism is not just about discovering new places; it’s about discovering the beauty of diversity. He said: “As we come together to celebrate the International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Language, let us remember that our world is a tapestry woven with different cultures, languages, and perspectives. In embracing the Deaf community and promoting sign language, we open new doors for understanding, connection, and enriching travel experiences. Let us make our destinations, our activities, and our hearts open to all, ensuring that every traveller, regardless of their abilities, can explore and appreciate the wonders our world has to offer.”
Commissioner of PWD, Guruprasad Pawaskar said, “In this week of celebration, let us rekindle our dedication to breaking down barriers, promoting equality, and fostering a society where every individual, with or without disabilities, can thrive and contribute to our shared future. People from all walks of life should come together and be a part of this vital journey towards a more inclusive world. The International Purple Fest 2024 in January will be bigger and after a great success last year we have been able to bring out inclusivity and accessibility in Goa and work towards it.”
The valedictory programme had Minister of Social Welfare Subhash Phal Dessai as the Chief Guest and executive member of All India Sports Council of Deaf, New Delhi and president of Goa Sports Council of the Deaf, John Justine Fernandes as the guest of honour. Director of Social Welfare Ajit Panchwadkar proposed the vote of thanks and expressed gratitude to all the participants and the Goa Association of the Deaf for organising a successful programme.