Panaji: After the first edition of ‘meet your soulmate’ — which encouraged persons with disabilities as well as those without to find a life partner — received a positive response in Panaji, the Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG) has planned another session this month, in South Goa.
The organisers are hoping more women will participate in the session after the last one saw the attendance of more males with various types of disabilities looking for partners.
“We are trying to encourage more women, or at least their parents or relatives, to attend the session. If someone wants us to approach another on their behalf, we will do that, too. We are willing to offer any services required and even direct them for medical advice or counselling as per their requirements,” president of the association Avelino de Sa told TOI.
At the first meet, there were close to 40 persons, including those with disabilities, looking for life partners.
Their relatives, family members and curious onlookers also attended.
Member of the state advisory board on disability, Prakash Kamat, said there is still lack of awareness about the attributes of people with disability. “Stigma is prevalent. At the last session, some educated boys with stable jobs, who had minor disabilities like a limp, said that although women accepted them, their families had a traditional mindset and didn’t approve. We hope to spread more awareness on the issue through our sessions,” Kamat said.
The marriage platform allows for open interaction.
“At the last session a couple, Alency and Desmond from Quepem, spoke about their marriage. Alency doesn’t have a disability and Desmond is a speech and hearing-impaired person,” Kamat said.
The second session of ‘meet your soulmate’ will take place on Saturday at Presentation Convent High School, Margao, and is open to all.