Purple train to feature members of special-needs community

Participants all dressed up at the Purple Parade event in Hong Lim Park.
Participants all dressed up at the Purple Parade event in Hong Lim Park. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Commuters on the North South Line could find themselves on a purple train plastered with the faces of seven people from the special needs community on Friday, Oct 23.

This special purple train is part of the campaign for The Purple Parade, a carnival and celebration of sorts for the special-needs community.

Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District and adviser to The Purple Parade Steering Committee, said the event aims to support inclusion and celebrate abilities.

The Purple Parade will happen at Hong Lim Park on Oct 31 and is in its third year running. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will attend as guest of honour.

In a media briefing on Tuesday, Ms Phua said organisers expect about 7,000 people to attend, together with 2,000 from the special needs sector, ranging from those with autism, to intellectual disabilities and visual or hearing impairment.

Last year saw about 5,000 people thronging the park to watch a parade, attend the concert, and eat and shop with $26,000 in proceeds going to charity.

Proceeds from this year's carnival -with participants such as Starbucks - will go to 27 charities including Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped and Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore.

A first for the parade includes seven people from the special needs community representing the movement. Paralympian Jason Chee, Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra member Stephanie Ow and Han's baker Goh Jin Kian are among the seven whose stories and faces will appear in the purple train.

kxinghui@sph.com.sg