GIS - Feb 08, 2012: A five-day film festival aimed at sensitising public opinion on the issue of disability and on the value of persons with disability was launched on Monday 6 February at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute auditorium in Moka by the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, Mrs. Sheilabai Bappoo.
The objective of the film festival is to raise awareness on the issue of disability and sensitise the public on the rights of persons with disabilities as full-fledged citizens and the need for their integration in society. The film festival is part of a series of ongoing activities organised by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions in collaboration with the Global Rainbow Foundation NGO and the participation of Mr. Satish Kapoor, Director, We Care Film Festival and Dr Srilatha Juvva, Associate Professor and Chair of the Centre for Disabilities Studies and Action, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India.
According to Mrs. Bappoo, this first ever film festival on disabilities will enable the public to have a glimpse of the potential and talents of persons with disabilities. “Too often, we tend to look only at the disabilities of the persons and forget that they have skills, competencies and capabilities as well which can marvel us at times” she pointed out. The Minister said that the film festival is a tribute to people who have experienced enormous obstacles and difficulties to overcome their disability.
She listed out the measures implemented by the Government for the welfare of persons with disabilities, adding that following the introduction of new social benefits for children and adults with disabilities more children with disabilities are having access to mainstream education. With a view to promoting arts for persons with disabilities, Minister Bappoo mentioned the project of setting up a School of Performing Arts in Mauritius with the help of Mr Shiamak Dawar, a renowned Bollywood choreographer .
The Minister further underlined the need to adopt a multipronged approach to the issue of disability underscoring the need to network and develop partnership with ministries and departments and with partners such as the media and NGOs at local and international levels.