Wed, 16 Oct, 2019

Goa’s first ever, an inclusive festival this month

09th October 2019, 02:46 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI

For the first time ever, Goa will experience a festival of inclusivity this October where people from all walks of life will come together along with differently-abled people to celebrate society’s diversity.   

The “Ekvottachem Fest” to be held on October 20 at the Garcia de Orta garden in Panaji, is a festival of unity, and a collective effort curated by Marius Fernandes, who’s based in Divar.   

Fernandes, who has organised festivals like the Ramponkarachem Fest, Patoienchem Fest, Ghumtachem Fest, Poderanchem Fest, Abolichem Fest, and Muzzgachem Fest recently, told The Goan that the Ekvottachem Fest idea was born as there has been a need for a long time to organise a festival for the differently-abled. “The time is finally right,” said Fernandes.   

Like all the festivals curated by him, the Ekvottachem Fest will be a festival without sponsors, alcohol, plastic, chief guest, prizes, or competitions. “We will simply be celebrating unity,” he said.   

Although all the details of the festival have not yet been decided, Fernandes gave us a brief outline of what people can expect. At 3:30 pm, the festival will start with “Ponnjechi Passoi”, a walk around Panjim led by differently-abled people. People will meet at the Panjim Church Square, and are encouraged to bring along their instruments like percussion, ghumots, guitars, violins. “It will be nice if people dressed up in traditional Goan clothing,” Fernandes added.   

Following the half an hour long walk, the procession will arrive back at the garden by 4 pm. A short panel discussion of ten minutes chaired by Miguel Braganza will follow. Speakers are likely to be Avelino De Sa, Vishant Nagvekar and Percy Cardoso, and will speak on disability rights, employment, health, and education issues.   

Journalist Prakash Kamat, formerly with “The Hindu” will chair the next session “Balcaochem Gozalli” which will center around the success rate of differently-abled people. Musician Carlos Gonsalves and his troupe will perform followed by Glynis Mendonca and her troupe who will perform old songs of Goa. Priyanka Parab will hold a short, and important session on how to graft plants.   

A Film Festival of 45 minutes will feature five short films all made by differently-abled people from Goa. Further, on the sidelines of the main events, differently-abled people will be actively involved in making flowers, painting, and artwork. There will be ghumots, and food for sale at the venue too.   

The celebrations will also involve the 16th anniversary celebrations of the Disability Rights Association of Goa.   

Fernandes explained that the event is entirely crowd-funded and volunteer-driven. It will be open to everyone, and entry is free.