GOA Carnival, one of the country's biggest annual festivals, is going to be accessible to all for the first time this year.
To begin with, the four days long Carnival will be made accessible in Panaji where elevated platforms with ramps will be provided especially for the wheelchair users. For the first time, an accessible float, comprising of disabled people and mobility-restricted elderly dressed in innovative costumes and placards championing the cause of inclusivity will be part of the festivities.
Enable Travel, accessible holiday specialist along with Ezy Mov, India's first wheelchair taxi service and DRAG (Disability Rights Association of Goa), have come together to improve the level of accessibility and inclusion in the festivities.
Debolin Sen, head, Enable Travel said, “Goa is accessible than many other destinations in India but there is still a lot of scope in improving accessibility. It has also garnered the right kind of attention on discussions around Inclusivity and accessibility in the past two years. We as accessible travel specialists want to keep this momentum going and strengthen our commitment along with our partners Ezy Mov and DRAG in creating an inclusive and accessible travel environment in Goa and extend it to the other parts of the country.”
Avelino Dsa, president, DRAG (Disability Rights Association of Goa) said, “Goa Carnival is an important event in our country and attracts lakhs of visitors. However, a large part of the disabled community has been missing from an event that is celebrated on a grand scale for very long now. It is a historical moment that the Carnival is going to be accessible to all and we hope with the help of many more like-minded partners we will be able to put our full resources together towards an accessible environment.”
Bennet D'Cunha, CEO, Ezy Mov said, “We want the disabled and the elderly to live, travel and celebrate just like everyone else, independently. For us to achieve an inclusive society it is important for us as a community to have conversations around disability, to ensure that they are included, to identify and remove disabling barriers and do it at larger platforms like this which will make a real difference.”
Sen further added, “We have customised packages for wheelchair users at the Goa Carnival and are aiding accessibility via wheelchair taxis and amphibious wheelchairs which will ensure that the disabled can partake in the festivities just like the able-bodied.”
To encourage participation from the disabled community and cater to their travel needs, Enable Travel in partnership with Ezy Mov has specially crafted holiday packages for the Goa Carnival in Economy and Superior categories. To make the experience seamless, detailing has been accounted for right from the time guests arrive at the airport. The package includes airport assistance by an Enable Travel representative, porter services at the airport, transfers, wheelchair friendly hotels, an amphibious chair experience on the beach with assistance, exclusive one night gala dinner, all meals, and travel insurance. One can easily customise the packages as per their needs or choose from the standard packages designed for the carnival. The packages start from Rs. 17699 per person on a twin sharing basis for two night/ three days.
Since its launch in March 2017, Enable Travel, powered by Cox & Kings has hosted attractive curated holiday experiences for the disabled (wheelchair, blind, deaf and speech impairment). The brand today is present across 220 + destinations covering domestic and international destinations.