Panaji: As part of the Purple Experience Zone at the International Purple Fest-Goa, 2024, an interesting event here is the Human Library, conceptualised by Rising Flame.
Founder and executive director of Rising Flame and a key partner of the International Purple Fest, Nidhi Ashok Goyal said, “The goal of Purple Fest is to raise awareness, change mindsets, and reshape our outlook, and thus when we have people who tell their stories, the goals can be well achieved.”
Thus the whole idea of having this uniquely thought of human stories being presented as a human library is about offering books that are actually people sharing their stories. In all, she says, there We six sessions organised here at the International Purple Fest- Goa, 2024 where ambassadors gather, and attendees can approach these ambassadors to listen to each human book.
At the event Purple Ambassador for Dwarfism, Disha Pandya, founder of The Little India Foundation spoke to those who came to listen about her early years when she got to know she wasn’t growing vertically. “I spoke to the two batches who came about the tough times I faced, the mocking and bullying, and the support my parents gave me to ensure I completed graduation. It wasn’t easy to get a job as everyone judged based on my disability”, she said.
But she went on to get coached under her mentor trained her in badminton and javelin throw in 2018 to participate in the para-championship to clinch a gold medal. Her determination to excel continues with her foundation that works to bring solutions and awareness on a global platform that affects individuals of short stature.
The mother who gave birth to India’s first-ever dwarf twins, spoke to two batch of people as part of the Human Library initiative. “One batch of students I spoke to didn’t know much about my disability, and only saw people like us in malls, on television or on a railway station. The group of students seemed to have some exposure and they were well aware of issues faced by those with disabilities. During both sessions, it was interesting to see how they wanted to know more. Like this, we can bridge the information gap, and I’m sure they will respect people with disabilities and not look down upon them.”
Goyal added: “Each of these stories narrates an individual’s life, struggles faced, and unique experiences. They also talk about their disabilities and how they carry on with their lives each day.”
In all the Human Library is a story of motivation and inspiration. It is also a genuine account of being a human being through the human library because stories can be transformative.
Purple Ambassadors at International Purple Fest-Goa, 2024 become human books, sharing their stories that foster understanding and break barriers.