Panaji, Dec 11 (PTI) Differently-abled people in Goa are using social media applications like Whatsapp and Facebook to get together and address the issues concerning them. An NGO, Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG), has come up with this concept which links members with each other and with journalists, policy-makers and tutors who teach disabled people.
"Initially we were on Facebook and realised the strength of social media. Thereafter, we made a group on WhatsApp (social messenger application for mobile phones). The response was tremendous. The social media platform has come as a great help for all differently-abled people to speak out, share and even fight back," DRAG president Avelino D'Sa told PTI.
The WhatsApp group currently has over 50 members and the count is increasing with every passing day, he said. Earlier, if any disabled person had an issue, he had to fight it out alone. "It would take time for him to reach to the association. But now it is just a click away," he said.
The group is becoming popular with journalists and differently-abled people. The group has helped in brining to light several problems, like parking of vehicles in spaces marked for the differently-abled people. "It takes no time. Just click and upload. Within no time, all the members talk about it, mediapersons take note of it and the message reaches the right authority," said one of the group members.
Several government welfare schemes and initiatives by NGOs are also discussed and introduced in the group, so that everyone can benefit from it, D'Sa said. According to DRAG website, Goa has 33,012 people, including 17,016 males, with various disabilities, as per 2011 census. The disabilities include visual, hearing, speech impairments, mobility problems, learning disability and autism.