Panaji: Day 3 of Purple Fest, witnessed a powerful gathering of State Disability Commissioners and key stakeholders in the capital city. Curated by Mission Accessibility, the day focused on fostering collaboration and amplifying voices for a more inclusive India.
The event brought together 11 State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities from across the country, along with esteemed guests like Minister for Social Welfare Subhash Phal Dessai, former Chief Justice of India U U Lalit, Founder of Mission Accessibility Rahul Bajaj, Amar Jain, co-founder Mission Accessibility and Advisor Turab Chimanthanwala.
The central theme revolved around bridging the gap between policy and lived experiences. Through open discussions, the participants delved into understanding Disability Culture through sensitizing commissioners to the nuances of disability culture, fostering empathy, and dismantling biases.
Then they discussed barriers to inclusion where they identified roadblocks that hinder full participation for individuals with disabilities, encompassing physical, social, and attitudinal barriers took place.
It was followed by a session on Legal Landscape and Implementation, examining existing disability laws, addressing legal loopholes, and emphasizing the crucial role of effective implementation. And finally, it ended with how to building an accessible society by exploring best practices innovative solutions, and the importance of reasonable accommodations like personal assistance, barrier removal, and adaptive technology.
A key highlight was the engaging discourse with former Chief Justice of India U U Lalit. His insights on disability rights and legal frameworks resonated with the audience, emphasizing the need for heightened awareness and cultural sensitivity.
The interactive session with Purple Ambassadors, facilitated by Deputy Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Praveen Ambashta, exceeded its scheduled duration, underscoring the depth and urgency of the conversations. The discussion covered a wide range of topics, from leveraging media for awareness campaigns to optimizing the Equal Opportunity Policy. Additionally, states like Karnataka and Meghalaya shared innovative practices like involving local representatives in data collection and utilizing mobile apps for outreach.
The day also addressed the critical issue of data accuracy of Persons with Disabilities. With the current estimated range of 8 to 10 crores nationwide, emphasis was placed on raising awareness and simplifying the help-seeking process through platforms like Grievance Management portals.
In conclusion Purple Fest 2024’s Day 3 served as a powerful platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and driving positive change. The open dialogue between State Commissioners, disability rights advocates, and experts paves the way for a more inclusive India, where barriers crumble and opportunities flourish for all.