Specially-abled and underprivileged citizens unfurled 75 national flags outside the Caculo Mall in Panjim to commemorate the 75th year of India's Independence.
This was an initiative of the Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG) and Caculo Mall to highlight and celebrate the lives of locals who frequently find themselves on the periphery of society.
Director of Caculo Mall, Shamik Caculo, spoke about the initiative and said that a three-day independence celebration was held in the mall where booths were set up for specially abled to sell their wares.
She added, "Activities like these empower a section of people who need maximum support to get into the mainstream. Additionally, DRAG held educational seminars about financial planning, rights of persons with disability and sign language. We have organised pop-up bazaar with DRAG twice now, and will always be ready to stand at the forefront to support such causes."
The aim of the events was to sensitize the public and spread awareness of the abilities of specially abled and how their growth will eventually help the country to grow.
On the occasion, president of the DRAG, Avelino De Sa, spoke on how his organisation has been working towards uplifting the specially abled in the state.
He said, "DRAG has always worked to educate and sensitize the public on the needs of the disabled population. People from the disabled community should take advantage of the numerous work opportunities that are accessible to them in India. These three days proved to be very encouraging and we got a many positive responses from the public.”
During the three-days of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration at the mall, specially abled people were felicitated for their achievements in life.
The achievers included Bashir Nawar, who has cerebral palsy, and makes paper bags and walks them with a cart to sell them to the market vendors.
Akshay Atchut Fadte, who also has cerebral palsy, runs a successful advertising and marketing firm called Atchut Marketing.
Santan Rebello, who also suffers from cerebral palsy, is one of the people preserving the traditional occupation known as Rotesanv—the art of weaving chairs.
Rama Parsekar, who is visually impaired, works as a computer trainer at Enabled India in Bangalore. Josefina Fernandes, a sign language instructor and member of the Goa Association for the Deaf, conducted a session on sign language with live demonstration.