On the occasion of World Disability Day, 3rd December 2012, National Association of the Deaf (NAD) received participation of more than 10,000 deaf persons today. Deaf persons came from 20 different states including Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh. Their demand was to meet the Home Minister to discuss on including Indian Sign Language as one of the official languages of India.
NAD started the solidarity rally at 11.00 a.m. from India Gate and finished at 12.00 p.m. at Jantar Mantar. The formation for the rally was 2 kms long. After sending two letters to the Home Minister and consistently following up with his office for over a month for an appointment, NAD felt a strong need to have a rally and to not move until the Home Minister gives them the time.
After raising our demand repeatedly, NAD were given an appointment with Addl. P.S. to Home Minister at 5.30 p.m. Mr. Zorin Singha, President of NAD and Mr. A.S. Narayanan, Secretary of NAD went for the meeting along with the Sign Language interpreter. While they waited in the lobby, the Home Minister came to them and talked to them about their need. Mr. Narayanan explained the need for giving Indian Sign Language the official status. The development of the Deaf community is hinged on Sign Language because their life is entirely based on vision and common language, the culture is also based no visual expression and Sign Language. Home Minister assured them his support and directed his OSD to talk to them in detail. He also mentioned that Indian Sign language falls under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. Minister will be directing Mrs. Rushima Goel, JSHR of Languages to look into their matter. NAD has written to her and they look forward to a positive response.