Projects : Accessibility

Accessibility for the Deaf

The Indian Sign Language (ISL) version of Accessibility.

Accessibility for the deaf involves:- Subitilites, & Interpreter to communicate with hearing people, sign boards, emergency lights during fire or other emergencies, website content in sign language for easy understanding and learning.

For visually impaired accessibility involves cane sticks, braille signages, braille books. For wheelchair users, it is the ramps.

These things are very important for them. For deaf, the main accessibility is the interpreter for the communicaton, access to information on T. V. with subtitle and sign language interpretation. Acccess for deaf while travelling on railways station, bus stations, airports etc with signages and written display info.

Access in various Govt. buildings like social welfare building, police stations, hospitals, doctor etc. through an interpreter for communication then we can get 100% access.

History of Activites

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Request Accessibility telecast via Indian Sign Language on the even Republic Day

Dear Friends,

   Good News from NAD India that Minister for Information and Broadcasting approved that Doordarshan has arranged the accessible telecast on the sign language interpreter for Hon'ble President of India's speech on the eve of the Republic Day on 25th January 2018 at 630pm to 7pm or 7pm to 730pm on DD Bharti TV & the Republic Day on 26th January 2018 at 830am to onwards on DD News TV & DD Bharti TV.

Please share it with anyone. 

With regards from NAD India.


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Location: FICCI, Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi    Activities: Workshop

Sensitization Workshop on the rights of persons with disabilities ACT 2016

FICCI Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Empowerment Persons with Disabilities, organised a workshop on December 8, 2017 at FICCI, Federation House, New Delhi, Smt. Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, Secretary and Smt. Dolly Chakrabarty, Joint Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment  graced the occasion with an inaugural speech.

As you are aware that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 replaced the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The 2016 act contains progressive changes and is definitely going to bring major positive changes in the lives of millions of disabled people in our country.

Although the Government is primarily responsible for ensuring that disabled individuals receive equal treatment under the Disabilities Act, private sector organisations have also been made accountable for various obligations under the act. The obligations under the new disability act apply not only to Government establishments but also to “private establishments”, being companies, firms, cooperatives or other societies, associations, trusts, agencies, institutions, organisations, unions, factories or such other establishments as may be specified. Such private employers are now subject to requirements (i) to promote an equal opportunity policy, and (ii) to comply with the standards of accessibility prescribed by the Indian Central Government.

Disability is not a homogenous issue and does not affect everyone in the same way. The real task is to start now—to bring together all the stakeholders together to understand the act and discuss issues that affect lives of very diverse people, and work towards the common goal of overseeing uniform implementation of the RPWD law.

Mr. Anuj Jain, Mr. Raj Kumar Jain, Mr. Shashi Kant Pathak, Mrs. Ritu Panda, Ms. Sonia Bhatia from NAD with interpreters Mr. Shivoy Sharma and Mr. Michael Singha attended the workshop. During the Q & A session, Mr. Anuj Jain presented a suggestion to the panel of having an Interpreter’s Pool which can be used to call interpreters at public or private buildings like for court cases or interviews and making them accessible for a Deaf person.

The suggestion was greatly appreciated by Smt. Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment and Smt. Uma Seth, Director & Team Lead, FICCI.

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Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd. collaborated with NAD for organising an event.

Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd. collaborated with NAD for organising an event to mark the International Disabled with People Day

Mr. Balendu Sharma, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd. collaborated with NAD for organising an event to mark the International Disabled with People Day in Gurgaon, Haryana on 8th December 2017.  It was done to drive the cause of Accessibility inside Microsoft.

This year, Microsoft decided to focus on Deaf people and conducted an event to ensure a deeper connect on the challenges faced by the Deaf people. The event was named ‘Celebrating the most beautiful, Sign Language of the world.’

As NAD team arrived at Microsoft Gurgaon office, the first part of the event was a silent awareness walk around the office premise holding placards with messages related to Accessibility and Inclusion.   At the end of the walk, Microsoft employees gathered at the venue and were briefly introduced to the NAD team.

Mr. Anuj Jain, Mr. Raj Kumar Jain, Mrs. Ritu Panda, Ms. Sonia Bhatia, Mr. Shashi Kant Pathak and Mr. Shivoy Sharma from NAD performed the Indian National Anthem in sign language which filled everyone’s hearts with patriotic feelings. Mr. Anuj Jain gave background on how NAD was started and on his own personal life that not only does he have to demand the Government for deaf rights but while growing up with his parents too.  That was followed by three small acts by the NAD team themed on deaf culture, importance of sign language, respecting the differences and communication.

The mood was set uplift among the people present there and the excitement increased during the Sign Language training session to the Microsoft employees as they got familiar with basic signs. Mrs. Ritu Panda took the session teaching the signs for greetings, alphabets, months and numbers.

The final session was the interaction between the employees and the NAD team. There were some interesting questions regarding how to address a Deaf person; do Deaf people enjoy music and if they have the feeling of missing listening to music; how to identify if a person is Deaf. Mr. Anuj Jain replied that the RPWD Act 2016 recognises Deaf and Hard of Hearing terms which are widely accepted by the Deaf community and use of HI or Deaf and Dumb/Mute is not acceptable; Deaf people do enjoy music through vibrations and if you meet a deaf person and try to talk to them then they will tell you by signing ‘deaf’ (gesturing to their ear and mouth) to inform the person.

Wrapping up the event, Mr. Kabir Ahmed presented the NAD team with mementoes of Microsoft bag and pen drives. Mr. Anuj Jain reciprocated the sweet gesture by offering a ISL dictionary and NAD Calendar 2018.

At the end a group photo was clicked with the Microsoft employees and NAD team showing the sign for “I Love You”.

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Location: Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi    Activities: Conference
8th NCDEDP-MPHASIS Universal Design Awards

Conference on Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities The 8th NCDEDP-MPHASIS Universal Design Awards

National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People organized the Conference on Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the 8th NCDEDP-MPHASIS Universal Design Awards at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi on 14th August, 2017. It was attended by about 600 disabled people (deaf, blind, & handicapped).

Dignitaries on the dais (From Left to Right): Javed Abidi, Honorary Director, NCPEDP; Srikanth Karra, Chief Human Resources Officer, Mphasis; Anand Mathus, Director General, Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, Government of India; Som Mittal, Trustee, NCPEDP; and Saurabh Chandra, Trustee, NCPEDP.

Panelists for Session on Accessibility of ICTs (left to right) - Shyam Krishna, Lead Developer, Hear2Read; Dr. Homiyar Mobedji, Country Representative, Benetech; Session Chair- Shilpi Kapoor, Founder, BarrierBreak; Keynote Speaker- Dr. Nirmita Narsimhan, Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society (CIS); Gaurav Mittal, Founder, GingerMind Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and Aqil Chinoy, CEO, inspiralive.

Panelists for Session on Accessibility of Transport, Services and Aids & Appliances (left to right) - Balachandra Shetty, Senior Product Designer, QuickBooks Desktop, Intuit India; Yeshwant Holkar, Co-Founder, UMOJA Travels; Session Chair- Dr. Meenu Bhambhani, VP & Head- Corporate Social Responsibility; Vivek Mehta, Founder and CEO, DeafEasy.

Mr. Aqil Chinoy, CEO, inspiralive and Mr. Vivek Mehta, CTO, DeafEasy received the NCDEDP- MPHASIS Universal Design Awards handed over by Shri Anand Mathur, Director General, Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, Government of India.

Shri Anand Mathur, Director General, Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, Government of India addressed the audience during the Award Ceremony.

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Location: the India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.    Activities: Events
Mr. Shinan P.S from Thrissur, Kerala (Deaf Bike Rider)

Good News today! NAD members – Mr. A. S. Narayanan, President, NAD; Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary and Mr. Vishal Arora, Treasurer met Mr. Shinan PS, who is a deaf bike rider from Thrissur, Kerala, on 14th August 2017 at the India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.

Mr. Narayanan asked him a few questions while there were other people gathered there watching the interview unfold.

First question put up to him was, “Does he have a driving license and what’s his goal for the journey?” He did indeed have a driving license but it wasn’t easy to get it as the licensing authority rejected him because he was deaf the first time he went to get the license. He added that, “Hearing people have so many opportunities and I would look at that and think how I can also do the same. Then the thought struck me that yes a deaf person like me can also ride the bike, travel this far and break every barrier. Both the deaf and hearing communities should be equal on the same level.”

Mr. Shinan PS told him that he started his journey with a hearing bikers group from Kerala and his first stop was Goa. From Goa he rode alone by himself to Pune then Mumbai. In Mumbai, NIHH felicitated him. They were impressed to see a deaf biker. A few people in Mumbai supported me and made me part of their club. In Nasik, their deaf association supported me and provided place to stay. Then I went to Vadodara in Gujrat. I interacted with the people and got their support too. In Ahmedabad, I met a lot of deaf people and it was fun. I got donation from a few individuals there. Later went to Udaipur in Rajasthan. I met the deaf people and they were surprised and impressed at the same time to meet me. I also received govt. recognized certificate. In Jaipur, we got pictures clicked and my name was in the print news. From there I went to Agra and finally arrived here in Delhi.”

Mr. Narayanan then told the audience, “Wonderful, thank you. You all must not think that this much travelling on bike is easy. It is quite hard. Food, fuel and other expenses are there. If I was in his place managing all that won’t be possible for me. So, it is very commendable and brave of him. I request you all let’s come together and support him, sharing a one time donation.”

Mrs. Reena Jain, NAD’s North India Deaf Women Committee, asked a question on how he manages all the expenses, to which Mr. Shinan answered,” I welcome any kind of donations and also happily accept invitations to stay the night to sleep. At one place I was hanging out with the deaf group and they said we will pay for your food.”

Mr. Shinan had a glass cutting business which he managed himself but left it 2 months ago when he embarked on this journey. People would stop him and get pictures clicked with him and meeting deaf people from different states also extended his time.

NAD Treasurer, Mr. Vishal Arora asked the people there that who would like to join him and ride like him to which there were a few hands raised interested for the same!

Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary, NAD told that, “So as you go ahead in your journey and finish it safely without accident, we will make a proof report and present it to the Ministry of Road and Transport of India and show them that a deaf person can drive and ride and hopefully the government passes law to give driving license to the deaf.”

Next he travels to Kashmir then Nepal to Bhutan to Assam to Kolkata to Orissa to Hyderabad to and finally back to his hometown Thrissur, Kerala. He feels safe and confident going ahead and in case of any trouble he has hearing friends and Whatsapp group of bike riders. He’s careful and follows a strict time rule too. Morning 6am to evening 6pm only.

When asked about has the police ever stopped him, he said that yes just once in Mumbai but he showed the blue sign which says the driver is deaf and police let him go, no other happening like that.

Mr. Narayanan concluded, “That’s sweet and beautiful he has that sign board on the bike, travelling all over India.” And everyone went for a group photo session.

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Location: New Delhi     Activities:
NCDEDP-MPHASiS Universal Awards on 14th August 2017

Dear Members & Non-Members,

NCDEDP & NAD invite you to attend the NCDEDP-MPHASIS Universal Design Awards on Monday, August 14, 2017 at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. We will give you the invitations cards & lunch.


  1. Mr. Aqil Chinoy, Vice President of NAD & CEO of inspiralive
  2. Mr. Vivek Mehta, Member of NAD & CTO of deafeasy.

Upto 300 deaf people are welcome. 

Location: Jantar Mantar, New Delhi    Activities: Dharna
Protest/Candlelight Vigil @ GST on Disability Aids & Appliances

Dear Members/Non-Members, 

We want to inform you that DRG with NAD and Many Other Disabled Groups organise a Protest/Candlelight Vigil about GST (taxes on diability hearing aids and appliances), on Friday, 30th June 2017 from 3.30 pm to 7.00 pm at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. We need 1000 deaf people from Delhi & NCR attending the protest tomrow evening. Pls inform your friends about it. 

With regards from NAD India!  

Telecast of President's Address on 25/1 and Republic Day Parade on 26/1 with Sign Language

Dear Members/Non-Members,

Greetings from National Association of the Deaf! Good News to everyone that the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting approved the telecast of:

  1. The President of India's speech on the eve of the Republic Day on DD Bharati from 6:30pm to 7:30pm on 25th January 2017
  2. The Rupublic Day on DD News from 8:30am to 12:00pm on 26th January 2017.

Pls spread this message to anyone and share it with your friends.

With regards,
NAD India!


Download Sr. Topic Description File Type / Size
1 Letter from Ministry of Information & Broadcasting The letter from Letter from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India stating the arrangements of ISL Interpreter for Dordarshan Channel. JPG / (0.17 MB)

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Location: New Delhi    Activities: Dharna
Dharna in support for the disabled person, Mr.Rishi Rajbhati

DRG with NAD and Many Other Disabled Groups are organizing a DHARNA outside the DDA, Vikas Sadan, INA, New Delhi at 2:30 pm on Monday, 16th January 2017

Dear Members/Non-Members,

Greetings from National Association of the Deaf!

As you may have read already, there has been an unfortunate case of discrimination against a senior official of the Government, a person with disability.

Dr. Rishi Raj Bhati was recently appointed as the Director (Public Relations) of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and joined the said authority on 10th January, 2017 on deputation. Within two days of joining, Dr. Bhati was handed a relieving letter stating that the nature of the job would cause him inconvenience that would also not be in the organizations interest. The letter also stated that he was being sent back to his parent organization with immediate effect.

This is a gross violation of human rights and clearly depicts the mindset that still prevails against disability. We cannot sit quietly and must take action. For those of you based in Delhi, we, DRG with NAD and many other disabled groups are organizing a DHARNA, outside the DDA, Vikas Sadan, INA, New Delhi at 2:30 pm on Monday, 16th January 2017.

With regards,
NAD India

National Conference on Deaf Youth, Human Rights, Leadership & Advocacy

Date: 27th February to 1st March, 2017 (3 Days Workshop)

Venue: Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, Chanakyapuri, Teen Murti Road, New Delhi.

In today's rapidly changing world, the need for the infusion for young and dynamic leadership is becoming increasingly apparent and the deaf world is no exception to this crying need. The Deaf need direction and training and their talents and capabilities need channeling. These trainees in turn share their knowledge with other young Deaf people throughout the country.

The importance of Leadership Training cannot be emphasized enough. Looking forward to a better future for the Deaf in India without investing in the leadership skills of the next generation would rightly be called 'short­ sightedness'. The people at Organisations are concerned that the future of their organization and the Deaf community should be secure in well trained and groomed leaders. Thus Leadership Training is one of the important training programmes we have..


During the workshop, we will invite International Deaf Speakers and National professioals to talk on these issues and to advise the youth leaders how to tackle these problems in their region. There is also an open discussion among the participants to work on a project which can be implemented in the future. We will be encouraging the youth leaders to organize talks and discussions on development in their region very often.

Joseph Murray

Dr. Joseph Murray

Vice-President, World Federation of the Deaf, USA
Madan Vasishta

Dr. Madan Vasishta

Associate Professor, Gallaudet University, USA
Cecilia Hanhikoski

Cecilia Hanhikoski

President, World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section, Finland
Kevin Nolan

Kevin Nolan

Director of Operations and Compliance, The Learning Centre for the Deaf, USA
Mark Berry

Mark Berry

Vice President, World Federation of the Deaf, Youth Section, New Zealand

Programme Schedule

Programme Schedule


Download Sr. Topic Description File Type / Size
1 NCDYLA Announcement Letter Announcement Letter from A.S.Narayanan, GS of NAD. PDF / (0.21 MB)
2 NCDYLA Fee & Application Form The fees and application form for attending NCDYLA programme. PDF / (0.12 MB)
3 NCDYLA Brochure 2017 The brochure with full information and details about NCDYLA. JPG / (0.15 MB)
4 NCDYLA Programme Schedule The Details and Programme Schedule of 3 Days Events. JPG / (0.28 MB)

Location: Select Citywalk Mall, Saket, New Delhi    Activities: Events
59th International Week of the Deaf

We organised the 59th International Week of the Deaf 2016, "With Sign Language, I am equal." at Select Citywalk Mall, Saket New Delhi on 3rd October 2016

We have special Chief Guest as Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry for Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri Jagdish Kumar, Senior Consultant, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry for Social Justice & Empowerment, and Mr. Harish Soni, Consultant, Indian Sign Language Training & Research Centre.

NAD Team also performed our best for showing dance, deaf cultural India and sign langauge action.


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Location: Indian Social Institute, 10 Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi    Activities: Conference Events
6th National Deaf Conference 2016

We successfully for the 6th National Deaf Conference 2016 being held at Indian Social Institute, New Delhi between 20th to 21st February, 2016. We have many deaf lecturers signing to the 200 deaf delegates from all over the country participating in the 6th National Deaf Conference 2016. The conference started with the welcome note by Mr. A. S. Narayanan, Secretary of NAD.

  1. Mr. Alok Kejriwal, Managing Director, Archana Ampoules Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, “Deaf can do.”
  2. Mr. T. K. M. Sandeep, CEO, & Mr. Hari Hara Kumar, Director Education, Deaf Enabled Foundation, “Technology on Education for the Deaf”.
  3. Mr. Vivek Mehta, Chief Technical Officer, Mr. Charu Dutta & Mr. Gagan Arora, deafeasy, “Technology & Accessibility”
  4. Mr. Sharique Khan, Ms. Deepna Sonani& Mr. Adnan Khan, Qugo, “Chat with Animations”.
  5. Ms. Shilpi Kedia, Managing Director, BarrierBreak Technologies, Mumbai.
  6. Mrs. Preeti Saini, General Secretary, Association of Sign Language Interpreters, “ISL interpreter for Deaf Community in India”.
  7. Mr. Gyanendra Purohit, Founder, Anand Deaf School, “ISL Bill and Including Recognition Official Language”.
  8. Mr. Aqil Chinoy, Founder & CEO, Inspiralive, “Technology for the Deaf”.
  9. Mr. Rajesh Ketkar, Assistant Director, Ishara Foundation, “Accessibility on Video”.
  10. Mr. Sunil Sahasrabudhe, ISL Teacher for NIHH & Mr. Mohd.Shafique, ISL Teacher for NIHH. 11. Mr. Sachin Singh, Teacher, DSMNRU, “Technology & Accessibility”.
  11. Mr. K. C. Isaac, Founder & President, Kerala Association of the Deaf, “History of Deaf People” in India.
  12. Mr. A.S. Narayanan, Secretary, NAD, & Mr. Zorin Singha, President, NAD, “RPWD Bill, ISLRTC & Driving License for the Deaf”.

Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of NAD The programs were a great success and a great source of encouragement and inspiration to all our 200 deaf  delegates from Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Kerala, Chennai, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh,  and other parts of India participated in the Conference. It has benefited a lot for deaf delegates learning about 13 deaf lecturers’s presentations. They are very impressed by our Conference.


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Location: New Delhi    Activities: Announcements
Sign Language Interpretation of  the 67th Republic Day Parade

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.

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Location: India Habit Centre, Lodi Road    Activities: Workshop
Workshop on Indian Sign Language for 25 Hearing Employees of Hans Foundation

NCPEDP invited Asha Singha (Interpreter) and Zorin Singha, President of NAD to give lecture to 25 Employees of Hans Foundation about history of NAD at India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi on 17th November, 2015. Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of NAD was also invited to teach the Indian Sign Language classes to 25 Employees of Hans Foundation for two days on 17-18 November 2015 at the same location.

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Location: India    Activities:
The Week Health Magazine

The Week Health Magazine

India on 30th August 2015




By Mandira Nayar | August 30, 2015

Millions of hearing-impaired Indians fail to communicate for want of a fully-evolved vocabulary of their own. India's sign language is crying for recognition

  • "The idea of signing to communicate in public was forbidden. If I ever tried to talk to them [parents] outside, they used to hold my hands. I was taught that signing was somehow shameful"- Anuj Jain, who is part of the National Association of the Deaf

A.S. Narayanan has never had a conversation with his family. He spent the first 15 years of his life in silence. Narayanan is like over a million Indians who are defined by their inability to hear. But if you are hearing impaired in India—it is worse than children of a lesser god that all differently-abled are lumped in with—the discrimination is a little more fundamental: it is the denial of a language.

Standing in front of the flea market lane of Janpath at Connaught Place in Delhi, Narayanan, much older now, laughs. “I grew up alone,’’ he says. “At most, they would ask me if I had eaten. Or, if I was okay? I brought myself up.’’ Surabhi, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia, is his translator. Signing came naturally to her. “It was the first language I learnt,’’ she says. “My parents are deaf. I learnt English later.”

It was years later that the idea of conversation, even communication that wasn’t just functional, came into being for Narayanan. He is now the office-bearer of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) in India and is off to Chandigarh for the weekend to hold a workshop on training with young students. It has become easier to communicate with cellphones and computers, but the language is still borrowed.

So far, the Indian sign language is still at a nascent stage. “There are millions of words in a language. In India, we only have a few thousands,” says Narayanan. “The language has not even evolved.” The Indian sign language comprises rudimentary signs, mostly instinctive, but it is far from the codified recognised language like the American sign language.

For the past few months, the NAD has been advocating for an autonomous Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre. The idea is to explore, expand and foster the Indian sign language. This centre was allotted in the 11th Five-Year Plan but is yet to see the light of day. The project was moved to the Indira Gandhi National Open University. Eighteen months ago the government chose to move the centre from IGNOU to the Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of the Hearing Handicapped. This, as one activist from NAD put it, is like “asking a wolf to raise a lamb’’. The institute believes in an oral approach to deaf education, virtually denying the deaf a chance to build a language that is rooted in their own culture.

The idea that the deaf need a separate language is alien in India. Instead, children are discouraged from signing. Anuj Jain, who is also part of NAD, grew up with his four sisters who were all deaf. His fifth sibling, a sister, is not. “She used to feel left out,’’ he says, laughing. “We would have these conversations and she couldn’t keep up.’’

A bond Beyond words: Anuj Jain with his daughter Ananta | Arvind Jain

Children who are born deaf are still ‘taught’ how to speak. They are given hearing aids to amplify the sound. Geeta Sharma remembers being forced to speak as a child. She spent years being shuttled from school to school. “The approach was oral,’’ she says. “They tried to get me to talk.” Forcing children to talk and hear isn’t unusual. Sharma is in her 40s. But even now, this is standard practice.

The Lady Noyce School is one of the biggest institutions for the hearing impaired in Delhi. There are 600 students who flock into the cramped classrooms to learn. At the centre of the school is a courtyard. This, open-to-the-sky bit of paved brick, is probably the biggest space the children have. Once there was a cricket field, now the social welfare department occupies most of the area. Kids here spend years learning how to read and write. Knowing the sign language is not compulsory for the teachers. It is something that they pick up. The hearing impaired kids, of course, have to learn how to speak.

It is not unusual. Teachers in deaf schools are not trained in the sign language. Nor is it considered essential. There is a brief orientation of a day or so on sign language. For the most part, the idea is to integrate the kids and teach them, but in a language—English or Hindi—that is not their own. Nor are hearing impaired teachers hired to teach. The idea that sign language can exist even in the hearing world does not exist.

The emphasis, for four years, is on preparing the kids to learn how to speak or communicate in the same way as is done in the hearing world. “They want to fit cochlear implants so that we could hear,” says Narayanan. “We are deaf. This is not communication.’’ It is like forcing a left-handed person to write with his right hand. A bit medieval and cruel.

For women, being hearing impaired means literally being invisible. “Girls are often never allowed to leave home,’’ says Sharma. “They have no opportunities and no one to communicate with. Imagine a life where there is no entertainment, no conversation, nothing.”

Hands-on Approach: A class in progress at Lady Noyce school, Delhi | Arvind Jain

Technology has brought in a revolution. The cell-phone and the internet has made the world a smaller place and for the deaf it has brought with it the gift of communication. Text, Facetime, Skype chats, Hike, video chats have made it possible for the sound barrier to be breached. Meeting people who don't know sign language, asking for directions, even talking with each other has become possible. “I remember when I used to get a phone call from a friend,’’ says Anuj. “My sister would pick up the phone and seem to speak for ages. When I would ask what the other person said, she would always give me just the gist. I would think why she would talk for so long when the answer was monosyllabic,’’ he laughs.

Over the years, Ananta, his daughter has become the voice he never had. Jain remembers the time when his parents spent a year trying to clap loudly to get his daughter’s attention. “They were convinced she was deaf,’’ says Jain. “She would never react when they clapped their hands. But when she turned one, she started talking. Then they knew,’’ he laughs. His son, a toddler, is also learning the language.

Raising a voice: A.S. Narayanan with his translator Surabhi | Arvind Jain

Ananta can speak the sign language fluently. It came easily to her. Even now when Jain's sister visits, she is the outsider, for she hasn’t learnt the sign language yet. “She communicates through me,” says Ananta. "She will call and ask me to pass on a message to my father."

The idea of signing to communicate in public was forbidden, says Ananta, translating for her father: “If I ever tried to talk to them [parents] outside, they used to hold my hands. I was taught that signing was somehow shameful.’’ He apparently retorted in sign that they should then ask the people who can hear to never speak.

Sitting in McDonald’s in Janpath, the father-daughter duo is having an animated conversation. Things have changed. In several countries today, the sign language has gained legal recognition, but in India, it is still not recognised as anything but a few gestures for the hearing impaired to communicate.

It isn’t a language. It needs to be. Language is much more than just communication. It is about being heard; about laughter; about the triviality of life; it is about poetry; it is about anger; fear; joy; disappointment and the shades in between. Even blue has more colour in other languages. Growing up as a hearing impaired person in India, where 18 million people are still waiting to talk, it is more than just about being mute, it is being deprived of expression—forever.


Download Sr. Topic Description File Type / Size
1 The Week Health Magazine India PDF / (1.21 MB)

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Location: Red Fort, Delhi    Activities: Announcements
Independence Day Telecast with Sign Language Interpreter 2015

National Association of the Deaf (NAD) once again advocated with the government for Sign Language interpretation of India’s Independence Day telecast.

Independence Day 2015 via Sign Language Interpreter on TIMES NOW TV. A significant step forward for the Indian disability movement, after years of advocacy by National Association of the Deaf. Sign Language in Independence Day broadcast.

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NAD Team met Smt. Gitanjali Gupta, Secretary Cum Commissioner, the Department of Delhi Transport

Shri Zorin Singha, President and Shri Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of National Associaiton of the Deaf spoke to the Secretary-CUM-Commissioner Smt. Gitanjali Gupta, the Department of Delhi Transport (Ministry of Transport, Delhi Government) on 15th July, 2015. She said that she is in total agreement that deaf people can drive.

After looking at all our documents and the high court order. She came across one problem. If in the medical certificate the doctor states that the applicant is not medically fit to drive, then she cannot overrule it. So, a reference of this will be made to the Govt of India seeking for the clarification of the order that was passed and for the formulation of the policy for the granting licence to the deaf sector by the Transport Commissioner.

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Location: Rajindra Place, New Delhi    Activities: Workshop
Sign Language Program for Delhi Police Station

National Association of the Deaf Team joined the students from Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC), University of Delhi in addressing Delhi Police Officers on 30th April, 2015 at Police Station, Rajindra Place, New Delhi. The response was tremendous and the Delhi police are keen to implement certain changes in their working. They are willing to include Indian Sign Language as part of their training module to enable police personnel to interact with deaf and mute people who approach them. Mrs. Sukrita Paul Kumar, Programme Coordinator, CIC University of Delhi hope for active participation from National Association of the Deaf in our student project on Sign Language in formulating this training module. CIC is also preparing a list of official interpreters with their contact details to be handed to the Commissioner, Delhi Police that could be circulated to all the police stations for ready reference.

The program was organized by Cluster Innovation Centre of the University of Delhi (CIC) and attended by around 100 Police Officers had attended the event.

Ms. Sonia Bhatia (Program Officer), Ms. Surbhi Taneja (Interpreter) and Ms. Riya Taneja (Interpreter) of National Association of the Deaf taught the Sign Language Class to 100 Police Officers also they performed a skit on common incidents like robbery and rape. The skit was performed in a contrasting manner where one was acted out without the assistance on a sign language interpreter and the second scenario was with an interpreter. The contrast was visible to all the cadets. The confusion, misunderstandings that existed in the first scenario due to communication gap between the police officer and victim and that gap was solved through the presence of a sign language interpreter in the second scenario. This skit sent a powerful message on the importance of promotion of Indian Sign language.

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Location: New Delhi    Activities: Meeting
World Bank India's Country Director

DPI delegation consisting of Javed Abidi, G. Syamala, Jagdish Chander, Meenu Mani, Samuel Mani, A. S. Narayanan and Geeta Sharma met the Country Director of World Bank, Onno Ruhl on Tuesday, 10 February 2015. The meeting was a very productive one with Onno Ruhl's very pragmatic and positive approach.

The delegation highlighted / emphasised on the following 4 points:

  1. World Bank should view disability in a cross-cutting manner i.e. inclusive of age, gender, caste (with respect to India), socio-economic background, etc. Also, their focus should be on all disabilities.
  2. World Bank should carry out an Impact Assessment Study: as to what impacts (positive/negative/none) have their projects had on persons with disabilities.
  3. Financial Inclusion: World Bank should plan their projects which include livelihood generation for persons with disabilities. For this they should engage with DPOs, activists, experts and Government institutions.
  4. When the Bank gives loans to countries, one of the yardstick or deliverable should be increased social, financial, political, universal inclusion of persons with disabilities in all spheres. They should develop monitoring mechanisms for the same.

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NAD Team Met Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road, Transport & Highways

Shri Zorin Singha, President, Shri A.S. Narayanan, Secretary, and Ms. Angel Singha (Interpreter) National Association of the Deaf (NAD) met Nitin Gadkari, Hon'ble Minister of Road, Transport and Highways on 28th January, 2015. NAD requested for his intervention vis-a-vis the issue of driving licenses for deaf persons. NAD is also working with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (MSJE) to work towards a solution. Hope a positive response from the Ministry.

Location: Govt. Medical Hospital & College, Saral Building, Sector-32, Chandigarh    Activities: Workshop
57th International Week of the Deaf Celebration 2014

57th International Week of the Deaf Celebration 2014 on 21st September, 2014 i.e. on Sunday was organized at Govt. Medical Hospital & College, Saral Building, Sector-32, Chandigarh. 550 deaf people from different districts of Punjab gathered at Govt. Medical Hospital & College, Chandigarh for the celebration of 57th International Week of the Deaf on Sunday. 2nd Punjab Deaf Conference was also organized by National Association of the Deaf on the topic "Strengthening Human Diversity".

Shri Satya Pal Jain, Ex-Member of Parliament, BJP from Chandigarh was invited as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour Shri Deepak Sharma (Cell BJP, Chandigarh).

The function started with the welcome note by Mr. Yogesh Kumar, Public Relation Officer of NAD. Mr. Vishal Arora, Treasurer of NAD spoke the problems for the deaf in India to deaf audience.

Speaking on the occasion, Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of NAD said there is no college is being set up by the Government. Govt. should help the deaf of Punjab and should provide them jobs for reserved 3% for Disabled including blind, deaf and handicapped people as well.

Ex-Member of Parliament, BJP from Chandigarh, Shri Satpal Jain assured the association for the support and raising their voice in the Govt. for getting full support.

Shri Deepak Sharma from BJP Cell said that it's a unique experience for me to be the part of this event and these people use the language of heart for communication, which is far better than other languages.

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Location: Red Fort, Delhi    Activities: Announcements
Independence Day Telecast with Sign Language Interpreter 2014

National Association of the Deaf (NAD) once again advocated with the government for Sign Language interpretation of India's Independence Day telecast.

This was made available only on DD News and just one private broadcaster NDTV picked up this feed. Small victories but many battles ahead for full inclusion.

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Location: Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi    Activities: Announcements
Sign Language Interpretation of Prime Minister's Swearing-in Ceremony on 26 May 2014

For the first time ever in the history of the nation, Sign Language interpretation of Prime Minister's swearing-in ceremony! However, much work ahead as its only on DD News. There should have been efforts to convince private broadcasters to take this feed.

Sign Language interpretation of new Prime Minister's swearing-in ceremony only on DD News! Sadly, a good beginning marred by half-hearted efforts by Doordarshan. Unlike on Republic Day, no advisory was issued by Doordarshan and none of the private broadcasters are taking the Sign Language feed!

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Location: USI, New Delhi    Activities: Workshop

The focus is on Employment. Case studies being presented by M. Srinivasulu from Andhra Pradesh, Arman Ali from Assam, Nita Panchal from Gujarat, Javed Ahmad Tak from Jammu & Kashmir, Kanchan Pamnani & Ketan Kothari from Maharashtra, Anuradha B. and Pradeep Raj from New Delhi, and Dr. Sruti Mohapatra from Orissa. Rama Chari of DEOC is the expert for the day. NCPEDP is pleased to organise this event in collaboration with Handicap International - India. Tomorrow the focus will be on Accessibility.

DAY 1: This workshop is an offshoot of the Making it Work project of Handicap International in Gujarat. Under this project, they are working with Disability Advocacy Group (DAG), Gujarat on documenting good practices on employment and accessibility in the State. DAG is a member of the National Disability Network (NDN). DAG and HI wanted to bring these case studies from Gujarat to the national platform to get inputs and feedback from other States. Day 1 of the workshop was on employment. As part of the knowledge sharing endeavour of NDN, several NDN partners presented case studies from their States. Case studies on employment were presented by M. Srinivasulu from Andhra Pradesh, Arman Ali from Assam, Nita Panchal from Gujarat, Javed Ahmad Tak from Jammu & Kashmir, Kanchan Pamnani & Ketan Kothari from Maharashtra, Anuradha B. and Suvarna Raj from New Delhi, and Dr. Sruti Mohapatra from Orissa. Rama Chari of DEOC is the expert for the sessions on employment.

DAY 2: The workshop focussed on accessibility. Apart from the presentations from Gujarat by Disability Advocacy Group (DAG), there were case studies presented by Balbir Guleria from CORD, Himachal Pradesh; Javed Ahmad Tak from Jammu & Kashmir; Ketan Kothari & Kanchan Pamnani from Maharashtra; Pradeep Raj from Delhi; Geeta Chaturvedi from VISHWAS, Haryana; Dr. Ram Goel and Mridu Goel from Uttar Pradesh; and Dr. Sruti Mohapatra from Odisha. The expert for the day was Shivani Gupta.

Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of NAD, Mr. Vishal Arora, Treasurer of NAD & Mr. Sachin, Member of NAD & Deaf Individual from Lucknow participated in the Workshop.

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Location: Kashmiri Gate, Delhi    Activities: Meeting
Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi

Mr. Vijay Dev (IAS), Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi invited AADI (NGO) Nidhi, Muskaan (NGO), other 7 Disabled Group and Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of National Association of the Deaf attended the meeting on 13th March, 2014 at Chief Electoral Officer, Kashmiri Gate, Delhi for accessible for polling stations upcoming Lok Sabha General Election in Delhi on 10th April, 2014.

Summary of discussions noted down:

Many disabled people were unable to access polling stations for booths. There was no assistance for ramps for wheelchair users, some personal assistance, no signage, no posters showing for deaf people. Disabled persons demanded Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi that they should provide accessible for every disabled persons enter in the polling stations. There will be 2473 Polling Stations in Delhi including 11700 Polling Booths. Mr. Vijay Dev (IAS), Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi said, "Motto is clear - this election 2014 must be a historiacally different and pleasant, big challenge. Mindset problem-biggest challenge must change mindset of electoral officer. What must do - how do we train them? We trained for electoral management procedural. Disability should become integral. What should be the curriculum? We must have qualified people. Interface down the level. All must be sincere and sensitive to disabled persons till lowest level of officer. We will have zero tolerance of complaints about our officials. We will audit them. And behaviour modification. Infrastructure - wheelchair, ramp, other facilities but need sensitized people. We want to learn from you. what should be the training elements? Please help prepare curriculum. 2nd Issue - physical logistics & hardware on paper instructions for ramp have been there. Is it done at 100% at every places? All categories of disabilities for signages, handouts, seamless travel, outside gate may be closed. Also for management there is a pole which can make a problem. We will all be a team. Best possible - pleasant experience. First limitation - electoral rolls don't have any categorization. Please provide us list of people who are disabled. We want to flag them. Basic minimum facilities - components of this that do you suggest. We have 2534 locations for polling in Delhi. Fort the first time it will be done in India. Locomotor disability - person who able to enter. We must do the audit. MCD engineer says, I have done it but must have audit. Signage - we should ensure. Make a template for basic facilities. We don't have much time. Actionable things - so we can achieve this objective. At the end of meeting we should have action plan on logistics & human resource development. We have hardly 20 days left. Financial resources are important. Social welfare dept from Delhi govt can help. How many disabled are there? They can tell us. Auditing can be done by social welfare dept. We will do 5-10 and give you feedback. Give the list of polling stations. They can choose among the list. We are here for this purpose. Without you people we could not do. When disabled are there, the feedback is taken seriously. There must be a template. Your specialization are you can make the template. We have everything ready. Polling station is prepared in 3 days. Finances & logistics will not be a problem. Let's us be clear. We will tell the govt agencies. You be the third party audit. Delhi Election is accessible to blind, wheelchair persons, mental retarded persons, deaf persons etc. Three problems - attitudual barrier can't tackle now. This long term but we most start. Training is there we can give the training. We will hold people accountable.. People who do mischief we will handle them. Physical access is very important for disabled people. For audit need visual, orthopaedic, and deaf people to do the audit. Simulation exercise must be conducted. Separate category will be there. Training - special education has knowledge."

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Location: Shashtri Bhawan, New Delhi    Activities: Dharna
Another Dharna for Sign Language Interpretation of Republic Day Telecast

NAD and DRG held another Dharna in the afternoon outside Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi from 3pm to 7pm on 23rd January, 2014. There were about 1450 deaf people who came from NCR, Haryana, Punjab & Uttar Pradesh alongwith supports of other disabled groups.

Since there was a difference of opinion between the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment on the issue of sign language interpretation on DD National, two things had happened:

  1. the matter got referred to the Cabinet Secretariat for a final decision.
  2. the Ministry of I & B had decided to issue an advisory to the private channels to take the feed from DD News so that sign language interpretation is also available on their screens when the Republic Day ceremony is telecast.

We decided to press one more time that sign language interpretation should be available on all DD channels, especially DD National. If our demand is not conceded to, we will march towards the Cabinet Secretariat/Prime Minister's Office. Members of DRG, NDN and NAD then met Social Justice Minister, Kumari Selja on 24th January, 2014 and reiterated our demand. She had agreed to write to the Hon'ble Prime Minister.

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Location: Shashtri Bhawan, New Delhi    Activities: Dharna
Demand Sign Language Interpretation of Republic Day telecast on all Doordarshan channels

There was one simple demand to make the telecast of Republic Day ceremony accessible via sign language interpretation on ALL 6 channels of Doordarshan, especially on DD National.

After advocating sternly for this issue for days, we were informed the day before that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Doordarshan will be making the telecast of Republic Day Ceremony 2014 accessible on three channels ONLY – DD Bharati, DD News and DD Urdu. This had hurt the disability sector immensely.

To stand up and fight against this discrimination, hundreds of disabled people gathered outside Doordarshan on Sansad Marg in the evening. The large crowd had then marched to Shastri Bhawan in the beating cold where finally after much wait, a delegation was called in for a meeting with the Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The delegation that comprised of Javed Abidi, Convener, DRG; Syamala G., AADI and A.S. Narayanan, NAD apprised to the Secretary, the disappointment and the agitation of the sector. The Secretary would hopefully be holding a meeting on Monday with relevant stakeholders to take up this issue.

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Delegation of Disabled Activists Meets Shri. Manish Tewari, Minister for Information & Broadcasting

For the first time in the history of the nation, this year’s Republic Day telecast may also include simultaneous Sign Language interpretation.(26/01/2014) Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Manish Tewari assured a delegation of disability activists of Disabled Rights Group (DRG) of his full support on this issue.

The members of the delegation which called upon Manish Tewari were: Javed Abidi (Convenor, DRG), Neelam Jolly (VISHWAS), Zorin Singha & A. S. Narayanan (National Association of the Deaf) with Angel Singha as interpreter. Also, present at the meeting were the Secretary of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Secretary of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

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Delegation of Disabled Activists Meets Smt. Sonia Gandhi, MP & Chairperson of UPA

A nine-member delegation of the Disabled Rights Group (DRG) and National Association of the Deaf (NAD) met Congress President, Sonia Gandhi today in its continuing effort to seek the support of major political parties to ensure the introduction and passage of the Disability Rights Bill when Parliament is re-convened early next month and also to have a Sign Language Interpreter on TV during the Republic Day Telecast.

The Congress President assured the delegation of her party's full support in ensuring the passage of the Bill.

The members of the delegation which called upon Sonia Gandhi were: Javed Abidi (Convener, DRG), Muralidharan (Secretary, NPRD), Merry Barua (Action for Autism), Syamala Gidugu (AADI), Neelam Jolly (VISHWAS), Radhika Alkazi (Aarth-Aastha), George Abraham (Score) and Zorin Singha & A.S. Narayanan (National Association for the Deaf).

Location: Auditorium, St. Stephen’s School, Sector 45-B, Chandigarh    Activities: Events
56th International Week of the Deaf Celebrations 2013 “Equality for Deaf People”

We organised the 56th International Week of the Deaf Celebrations 2013 on ‘Equality for Deaf People’ on 29th September, 2013 at St. Stephen’s School, Sector 45-B, Chandigarh. There were about 950 deaf members from all over Punjab participating in the function. We have invited the Chief Guest Smt. Gagandeep Kaur Dhindsa, wife of Honorable Shri Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Minister of Finance, Punjab.

The function started with the welcome note by Mr. Jagdip Singh Sodhi, Executive Board Member of NAD. Mr. Vishal Arora, Treasurer of NAD spoke briefly on Equality for Deaf People to deaf audience.

The purpose of the event which we have been organizing the past year, is to promote and encourage lifetime achievement among Deaf people. We want them to believe that they can do it – that they are capable and gifted.

Prizes were awarded to deaf men and women for showing performance for drama by Deaf Members from Chandigarh Deaf Friendship Society.

These guests were presented with a Bhangra Dance performed by Deaf Members from Patiala Deaf Friendship Club.

Smt. Gagandeep Kaur Dhindsa, Wife of Honorable Shri Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Minister of Finance, Punjab was the Chief Guest giving away the awards.

We have given the list of Lifetime Achievement Awardees below:-

  • Mrs. Rupinder Kaur, Mohali, Punjab
  • Mrs. Sangeeta Sharma, Chandigarh
  • Mrs. Manpreet Kaur Ghuman, Patiala, Punjab
  • Mr. Amandeep Sharma, Patiala, Punjab
  • Mr. Nikhil Jindal, Ludhiana, Punjab
  • Mr. Deepak Arora, Jalandhar, Punjab
  • Mr. Navneet Khurana, Chandigarh

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Location: Shashtri Bhawan, Delhi    Activities: Dharna
Dharna by NAD & DRG for Sign Language Interpretation of Republic Day Telecast

After our Dharna on Friday (17th January 2013), the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has come under a lot of pressure. Secretary, MI&B has asked Secretary, MSJE to convene a meeting on Monday 20th January, 2013. Hundreds of people with disabilities gathered at Shastri Bhawan to demand Sign Language interpretation of Republic Day telecast on DD National at Shastri Bhawan , Delhi. Ministry of Defence, Prasar Bharati, and Doordarshan are present. That's when it would be decided if sign language interpretation would be available on only 3 DD Channels or on all the 6 DD Channels, especially DD National. To be honest, just the idea of an inset box with a sign language interpreter on an Indian television screen is in itself a huge, historic breakthrough. First time ever since independence; 6 years after India ratified UNCRPD. To have this on not just DD News but 3 channels of Doordarshan is not too bad a deal but we are out here to make an example.

A meeting was held at 3 pm in the Ministry of Social Justice. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Defence, Doordarshan, etc were all present. It was an unsuccessful meeting, clearly visible that the bureaucrats from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting come with a closed mind. They were finding ways to kill time, with only five days away from Republic Day. We weren’t impressed as the same information was repeatedly being passed to us i.e., 3 channels with the support of sign language interpretation, which was unacceptable. We came out and had shared the bad news with the crowd. Before we even knew, they all got very angry and marched inside Shastri Bhawan pushing aside the guards and the security personnel. For a moment, my heart skipped a beat. We went in, pacified the people, and they all sat on a Dharna right there, at the entry gate of MI&B. This went on till about 8 pm. Finally, the Secretary MI&B called us again and we went in for a 2nd round of talks. This time, he was a bit more open. He asked us to wait till the next day. They have got the file from Doordarshan/Prasar Bharati. They will examine the concerns raised and supposedly put up the file to the Minister, Manish Tewari. So we waited.

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Location: New Delhi    Activities: Workshop
Children of Deaf Adults Workshop (CODA)

National Association of the Deaf organised the Children of Deaf Adults Workshop (CODA) on 6th January, 2013 at Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. Over 15 children of deaf adults participated in this workshop which was led by Mr. Kevin J. Nolan, (Gallaudet University’s Gerald “Bummy” Burstein Institute, Washington DC, USA) & Dr. Madan Vasishta, Chief Advisory, Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre.

Both Mr. Kevin and Dr. Vasishta took a session with children of deaf adults (CODA) discussing how the deaf world and hearing world is different and children bridge that gap. Children had their doubts cleared, had some back and forth questions for their parents moderated by Mr. Kevin.

This workshop took a more practical approach with a lot of brainstorming which had left a positive impact on our hearing children and we hope that next one would be the same kind and better!

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Will the govt hear them out? Despite HC Order, Hearing Impaired Barred From Driving Test

NEW DELHI: Despite being empowered by the Delhi high court to take a driving test, hearing-impaired people continue to be barred from it. HC gave a verdict last February allowing totally deaf people to take the test, though it clarified that any further privilege as a special category could not be granted.

"We are obliged to certify that if an applicant is totally deaf, he has to be called for the test if he applies for a learner's licence without the medical certificate. And if he passes the test as required under Rule 11, he shall be granted the learner's licence," says the order. It adds, "If a person belonging to the said category satisfies the necessary criteria, he shall be allowed to obtain the licence."

One and a half years have elapsed but the order has not been complied with. Though the Delhi transport department said the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 needed to be changed for implementation of the order, the road and highways ministry said the HC order was binding.

In the meantime, hearing-impaired people continue to face discrimination. For example, Anuj Jain, 41, was not allowed to take the test despite fulfilling all the criteria. "I applied for a driver's licence at the Surajmal Vihar RTO on November 2. I filled all the forms and submitted an ID proof, medical certificate and documents. I then sat for biometric registration, moving on to the driving test section," explained Jain in sign language, which was interpreted by his aide.

But he was in for a rude shock. "At the time of the test, my interpreter was asked to leave. When she insisted that I had hearing impairment, they rejected my application, saying I was not eligible," Jain said. Jain had produced the HC order but it was brushed aside by the officials, who said there had been no communication from the higher-ups.

Five other hearing-impaired people shared the same grievance. Zorin Singha, president of theNational Association of the Deaf, said this problem is faced by most of their members. "Every tenth hearing-impaired person has complained of the same problem," said Singha.

When TOI spoke at an RTO office in the city, the officials admitted that they did not allow deaf people to take a driving test. "We allow people with locomotive disability to take the test, provided they bring their customized vehicle, but not hearing-impaired people," said an official on condition of anonymity.

In the 2011 order, the prosecution had submitted a response by Delhi Police on queries related to safety. Delhi Police cited a court order which states "due to lack of auditory distraction the deaf have far better focus and concentration needed to drive the vehicle".

Yet, when TOI contacted the Delhi transport department, officials said implementation of the order would require a change in legislation. "The Delhi Motor Vehicles Act is based on the Central Motor Vehicle Rules. Unless there is a change in that, the DMV Act remains the same," said a spokesperson of the transport department.

However, a senior Union transport ministry official said, "The provision in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules does not prohibit anyone with disability from taking a driving test. If they are then found to be unfit, they may be refused a licence."

(From Times of India, New Delhi on 24th November, 2012)

Location: Indian Institute of Management, Dehradun (Uttarkhand)    Activities: Conference
3rd National Deaf Conference organized by NAD & Deaf Welfare Association

The 3rd National Deaf Conference was jointly organized by The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) & Deaf Welfare Association (DWA) at the Indian Institute of Management, Dehradun (Uttarkhand) on the 13th and 14th of June 2010.

The Chief Guest for the occasion was Shri. Matbar Singh Kandar, who is the Minister of Social Welfare from Uttarakhand. The other prominent persons present there included the Mayor Shr Vinod Chamoli; Shri. Zorin Singha, the President of National Association of the Deaf (NAD); Shri A.S. Narayanan, General Secretary of NAD and Shri Umesh Grover, General Secretary of Deaf Welfare Association. The conference was inaugurated by the Guest of Honour Shri. Matbar Singh Kandar.

Many Deaf leaders and Deaf persons from across the country participated in the conference to make it a big success. .A total of 125 deaf people and leaders attended the conferece.

Shri. A. S. Narayanan, General Secretary of NAD shared about the background of the Sign Language Institute which has been approved by the Finance Minister, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee. This has been included in the 11th Five Year Plan after the Deaf community had done several demonstrations and conducted strike on four occasions at various places in New Delhi.

Shri. Zorin Singha, the President of National Association of the Deaf (NAD), shared about the paper on Social Justice and Empowerment (SJE) drafted by the Deaf leaders and made an appeal to the Minister to remove the Persons with Disabilities Act and force the SJE to draft and pass a new law instead. There have been many recommendations to get a new law since there are many problem areas in the PWD Act. It is insufficient in dealing with the problems of the disabled appropriately.

Shri. T.K.M. Sandeep, Treasurer of NAD made a presentation on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and made comparisons with the current PWD Act.

The Conference instilled a lot of confidence in all the participants as they were better informed on the opportunities available for the Deaf and many of them stated that they would spread this information on Deaf Rights to many more people. They expressed their happiness at having gained so much through this conference.

This is to inform you that a Seminar on DEAF RIGHTS under United Nations Convention of Rights for People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was organized by National Association of the Deaf, Delhi (INDIA) from 26th and 27th June, 2010 in Vyattla, Ernakulam, district in Kerala State, South India for first time. The NAD invited to two deaf leaders came from each district of Kerala.They were interested to learn things from us through India Sign Language. Shri A.S.Narayanan, Secretary, National Association of the Deaf, Delhi made presentation to the deaf participants about UNCRPD. He explained that the India Government has already ratified UNCRPD on 1st OCT, 2007. He also gave examples to them about PWD Act 1995. This disability law the India Government already has, but still not have implemented yet. There has been no benefits for the deaf through PWD ACT since its passage in 1995. It is wonderful to good news from India Govt announced about pasting a New Disability Law in the month of April this year. We must give our Hearty congratulation to Mr. Mukul Wasnik, Minister for Social Justice and empowerment, Government of India, for paving the way to opening the New Disability Law.

Finally, Good News! After a long time, the need to establish an India Sign Language Research and Training Institute is being addressed. Mr.Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister announced for India Sign Language last month of Feb 26th, 2010.India Sign Language Institute is established very soon! We need you in support and unity in work for the deaf in India.

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Location: India Gate, New Delhi    Activities: Dharna
World Disability Day, 2008

On Wednesday afternoon at 3pm we organized a massive rally of around 5000 disabled people. People from all over India got together at India Gate to demonstrate their strength and solidarity. The get together was a peaceful one and we also lit candles to mark our solidarity with the Mumbai attacks heroes and victims.

Apart from our host Mr. Zorin Singha (President, NAD), we had a wide array of speakers who had all gathered together for a common cause and that was the implementation of the 11th Five Year Plan where certain demands of ours were addressed unlike the other plans. Last year we thought was a momentous year as not only did our country ratify the UN Convention but also a distinct chapter was included in the 11th Five year plan on disability, but unfortunately no further action has been taken. All promises remain on paper only, its time we woke up the government to take some action, be it -

- Creating a separate Ministry for the disabled.
- 3% allocation of funds for disabled in every Ministry.
- To make Sign Language Indian as one of the official languages of our country
- To appoint interpreters in various ministries.
- Implementation of the UNCRPD, to name a few.

We had cultural programmes put up like songs, mime plays, dance etc. to entertain all the attendees. The talented Ms. Benzi sang beautifully two patriotic songs. We also had a troop who came all the way from Hyderabad to perform for us.

Our representatives comprising of Mr. Javed Abidi, Mr.Arun.C.Rao, Mr.Zorin Singha, had gone to visit the Hon'ble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, to place our demands in front of him but were unable to do so as he was not in town. but that did not dampen our spirits, as this rally was a great success. It provided an opportunity for all to meet and interact with each other. They were able to share with each other their problems and experiences. Also Mr. Sanjay Mitra , Joint Secretary of disability in PMO promised us that he shall brief Hon'ble Prime Minister about our demands and that some action will be surely taken .We shall all pray that things fall in place this time.

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