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India Driving Tech-Empowered Inclusivity

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The International Purple Festival, a collaborative endeavour between the Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, the Directorate of Social Welfare (Government of Goa), and the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India), stands as a beacon of technology-enabled empowerment for Persons with Disabilities.

The International Purple Festival, through its multi-faceted initiatives and discussions, signifies a collective effort to create an environment where persons with disabilities are not only acknowledged but actively supported, ensuring their voices are heard and respected in all facets of society.

Significant strides were made during the International Purple Festival, including the launch of India’s first cloud-based IVRS for the Disability Information Line (DIL), offering comprehensive support accessible through the toll-free number 1800222014.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

The festival’s commitment to inclusivity was further demonstrated through the introduction of PURPLE TV BHARAT, a dedicated channel showcasing success stories and achievements of the Person with Disability Community, fostering a broader celebration of their talents.

Additionally, the Deaf-Blindness Conclave and the ‘Championing Inclusivity’ panel discussion at the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industries addressed crucial topics, contributing to a more inclusive discourse surrounding disabilities and promoting awareness and understanding.

The festival, an inspiration for empowerment, is committed to crucial discussions on Inclusive Education and groundbreaking advancements in assistive technology. Contributors from diverse backgrounds converged to explore a path towards accessible education for all, reaffirming India’s commitment to inclusivity.

Organised by ICVE Global, the workshop highlighted India’s leadership in developing affordable and effective assistive devices. The diverse array of assistive technologies on display illuminated the potential to transform the lives of people with disabilities.

ICEVI was lauded for providing a platform for innovators and hands-on experiences at the Purple Fest. Minister of Social Welfare of Goa, Subhash Phal Dessai, reiterated the importance of inclusive education, acknowledging the festival’s role in fostering awareness and driving positive outcomes.

The national summit on Inclusive Education took centre stage in Panaji, setting the tone for insightful deliberations. Dr Sandhya Limaye, from TISS, Mumbai, highlighted a decade-long commitment to inclusive education. With over 120 participants engaged, she underscored the need for higher education opportunities for disabled individuals. Limaye envisioned a future where inclusivity benefits not only children with disabilities but also those from minority groups.

Martin Matthew delved into the uses and gratification theory, advocating for the digital space in the age of AI supremacy. Avelino De Sa emphasised the challenges in implementing inclusive education, stressing the critical role of government policies in awareness-raising efforts.

Taha Haaziq passionately endorsed the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in positively impacting the lives of individuals with disabilities, aligning with the festival’s theme of technological innovation.

Chaired by Dr. Brendra Pokharel, Vice President of ICEVI West Asia, a workshop showcased the transformative power of technology in education. Dr Homiyar and Hunny Bhagchandani presented compelling insights into how technology can revolutionise learning in science, mathematics, and advanced subjects.

A standout takeaway was the commendable work by young Indian start-ups in the assistive technology space. Encouraged by government initiatives, these startups have pioneered low-cost, effective, and culturally appropriate devices, positioning India as a global leader.

The startup dedicated to empowering vision beyond sight, showcased advanced products catering to individuals, teachers, and institutions. Notable tools include DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System), Pipeline App, Mega Voice, and Music Braille.

The International Purple Festival stands as a testament to India’s commitment to inclusivity, education, and technological innovation, shaping a future where everyone has equal opportunities and rights.


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