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Will build infra to make Goa ideal destination for disabled, says CM Pramod Sawan

PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that wherever possible, permanent infrastructure like ramps will be created on beaches, etc, to make Goa an ideal tourist  destination for persons with disabilities. Sawant said that  a sign language course, which was not available until now in the state, will also be offered from June 2023 at the Sanjay school for special children.

“I am sure the purple fest being held in Goa will change the outlook of persons with disabilities towards Goa. Until now, Goa has only been looked at as for the young crowd. But in future, Goa will be the destination for the disabled also, so they can come here and enjoy their holiday,” said Sawant.

The CM also stated that purple fest, which is being organised for the first time this year for persons with disabilities, will be organised permanently every year in Goa along the lines of the International Film Festival of India (Iffi).

“The way Goa is known for Iffi, people across India will register in advance and look forward to purple fest. This year registration for the fest touched 2,000. It will be a permanent event in Goa,” he said.

“The government of Goa will provide all necessary support and we will get support from the government of India as well,” said Sawant.

For the first time in India such an event as purple fest is being held, where persons with all types of disabilities will be brought under a single roof, he said.

“Goa state commissioner for disabilities, Guruprasad Pawaskar, and minister for social welfare, Subhash Phal Dessai, have requested me to make Panaji accessible for the festival, whether roads or beaches. It is not easy. But we will make permanent facilities available like ramps wherever possible; in other places, temporary infrastructure will be created,” Sawant said.

Purple fest will also see discussion with Goa chamber of commerce and industries, to provide employment opportunities for the disabled.

“We do not have a course on sign languages. From next June, the course will be launched in Goa. It is the need of  the hour,” said the CM.

“So far, our departments have been able to carry out surveys in all 12 talukas and reached 11,000 persons with disabilities. We could provide equipment like hearing aids to 2,500 persons. Our target is that within one year, we will provide equipment like wheelchairs and hearing aids to all persons with disabilities entirely free of cost,” Sawant said.