Undaunted by Covid-19, parade for people with disabilities goes virtual – AutismSTEP
For some, playing the piano well might be a difficult feat to accomplish. But Ms Siti Sakinah Zainal not only mastered the instrument in seven years, she also did it despite being blind.
The 24-year-old human resources executive learns her pieces by listening to them, playing them back to memorise them, and picking up the musical cues from the conductor’s breathing when she is playing in an orchestra.
She was among the many people with disabilities (PWDs) who made up a majority of the 113 performers at the Purple Parade 2020 yesterday.
Held annually since 2013, the parade is Singapore’s largest movement to support the inclusion of PWDs and celebrate their abilities.
In previous years, huge crowds turned up at Hong Lim Park and Suntec City to take part in the festivities, which typically included a massive carnival, march and concert. This year, owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, the organisers have moved the events online.
More than 2,600 Singaporeans, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, pledged in a video montage yesterday to support inclusion and celebrate the abilities of PWDs.
Instead of a carnival, Purple Parade merchandise was sold online. And for the first time, a virtual “purple map” replaced the march as a sign of solidarity, allowing people to leave online messages of inclusion and support for PWDs.
The concert was live-streamed on the Purple Parade’s Facebook page, with a special screening at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre for invited guests that also incorporated some live segments.
About 35,000 people tuned in to the livestream.
The audience was treated to rousing drum and wushu performances, songs, dances and a special music video, performed mostly by PWDs.
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