ESG honoured for making IFFI venue disabled-friendly

The Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) was honoured here recently for making the venue of the annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI) disabled friendly.

The honour was bestowed on the ESG at the We Care Film Festival on Disability here by its organisers, the BITS Pilani Goa Campus, Brotherhood, the National Trust, United Nation Information Centre, UNESCO, and Asian Academy of Film and Television of India (AAFT) in association with the local organizations Sangath and Disability Rights Association, Goa .

The recognition was received on behalf of ESG by its General Manager Venancio Furtado, who appreciated the objectives of the We Care Film Fest and its participatory rating process. He gave an assurance that the ESG would be happy to associate with the We Care Film Fest in the near future.

The festival, which travels to educational institutions to create greater acceptance of the differently-abled as part of mainstream society, witnessed the screening of 32 documentary and short films on various forms of disability from India and overseas.

The festival is travelling to around 15 venues in the country over the next three months. It has introduced a participatory rating process in which the students and the audiences rate each film and an indepent jury judges the films on the basis of these ratings.

BITS Pilani Goa Campus Director K E Raman appealed to the students to think about the various issues of persons with disabilities and make use of their knowledge to promote their rights as set out in the various acts like PWD Act, the National Trust Act and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disability which came into force on May 3, 2009.

He said BITS had been organizing various national-level cultural and other educational events in its Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai centres, but it was the first time that it had organized a festival on disability issues. He promised that BITS would continue to support the We Care Filmfest and take it to other centres of BITS as well.

Mr. Avelino D’Sa, President of the Disability Rights Association of Goa, welcomed the holding of the We Care Fimfest in the state and said the event would be taken to various corporates, State Government departments and owners of shopping malls to sensitize them on disability issues.

Mr. Vishram Gupta, Chairperson of Sangath Goa, said short films are very effective in sensitizing general public, students, children and persons with disability and their parents. He said the festival would be taken to schools and other educational institutions of Goa .

We Care Filmfest founder Director Satish Kapoor said: "a world that truly embraces diversity is one where the rights, dignity, and well-being of individuals are realized regardless of differences in race, faith, gender – or ability. People living with disabilities often surprise us with their abilities, with what they can do rather than what they cannot do, but not many tell their stories."

He said the festival was an opportunity for all students to develop their understanding and perspectives relating to disability issues besides contributing to the process of participatory rating. This would help the students whenever they plan to make short films/documentaries on disability. It would also help sensitise the general audience on various issues of disability, he said.


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