National Association of the Deaf (NAD) once again advocated with the government for Sign Language interpretation of India’s Republic Day telecast would feature sign language interpretation but only on DD News and DD Bharati.
We are happy that last year's gains have not been lost and that the telecast would be accessible this year also. But why the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is still not willing to feature sign language interpretation on DD National is beyond our comprehension. DD National is important because all other channels, especially the private ones like NDTV, Times Now, etc take their feed from DD National and not from DD News or DD Bharati.
FOR THE THIRD TIME IN INDIA: Doordarshan has made necessary arrangements for the accessible telecast of President of India's 'Address to the Nation' on the eve of Republic Day. Unfortunately, this feature would be available only on DD Bharati. Not even on DD News (which has a greater outreach), leave alone on DD National. Having said that, it is worth a celebration that after a full 67 years of India having become a Republic, the President's Address would finally be telecast with live sign language interpretation.
Sign Language interpretation of the 67th Republic Day Parade. Sadly, the interpretation could only been seen on DD News and DD Bharti, unlike last year when almost all private channels picked up the DD News feed with the sign language interpretation inset. This can easily be seen as an impediment, but we must not lose hope. The advocacy will continue. With the momentum of the Disability Rights Bill picking up again, we hope to see more interpreters in the country and all forms of media being accessible to all persons with disabilities.