Projects : ISLRTC

Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre

The Indian Sign Language (ISL) version of ISLRTC.

Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), how did it establish! I will tell you about it.

Planning Commission was set up in India in 1950, nearly 50 years back. Planning Commission has had blind and orthopedically challenged people but never a deaf person. The Disabled Rights Group, headed by Javad Abidi kept advocating with the Planning Commission that deaf people should also be involved but the request was not accepted. Disbled Rights Group along with NAD protested outside the Planning Commission Office and then the Planning Commission accepted it.

First time in Indian history & deaf person (myself) was involred in the Planning Commission. NAD had five demands from the Planning Commission:-

  1. Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre
  2. Intepreters,
  3. Subtitles
  4. Colleges for the Deaf
  5. Schools upto class 12th.

But we did not see any progress in any sector for next two years. Disabled Rights Group and NAD on 3rd December 2009 held a protest out the Planning Commission Office and it was conveyed to the Planning Commission that they have not been responding to our letters from past 2 years and presented our 5 demands.

It was difficult for them to fulfil all so they asked us to choose one. We chose ISLRTC. In 2010, the finance ministry approved of it and a budget of Rs. 44 Crores was allocated for the same. We had gotten this for the first time in history, we were very happy.

With time Ministry for Social Justice & Empowerment took a decision to move ISLRTC to IGNOU. IGNOU was administering it. The Vice Chancellor was replaced with a new one.

He was not very considerate about ISLRTC. The responsibility of ISLRTC was given back to Ministry for Social Justice & Empowerment. NAD demanded ISLRTC to be an independent body and they promised us the same. Even when the new BJP Govt. had come in, we requested it be an independent body.
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities decided on moving ISLRTC to NIHH and it was event sent to the PMO, we had no news about it. We started filling RTI to know about ISLRTC’s status and the response was the same that they are moving it to NIHH.

NAD team tried to meet the minister to get it autonomous but it had already been decided by the PMO. NAD invited its leaders from all parts of India on 15th March, 2015 and discussed if it should be autonomous or we should let it go to NIHH.

Everyone wanted it to be autonomous started writing letters to the PMO but there was no response. We decided on having a protest on May 5th, 2015 outside Shashtri Bhawan Gate No.4, New Delhi. 3000 deaf people gathered there demanding that ISLRTC must be made autonomous. Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment advised us to meet the PMO. We stopped the protest.

Two days later the leaders , Sibaji Panda, Vice President from All Inida Federation of the Deaf, Uma Kapoor, General Secretary from All India Foundation of Deaf Women, Zorin Singha, President from National Association of the Deaf, A S Narayanan, Secretary from National Association of the Deaf and Surender Randhawa, PhD went to meet Shri Jitendra Singh in the PMO. He listened to our plea and agreed to support us. Press Information Bureau (PIB) clearly stated that the deaf want autonomous ISLRTC. There was no response for two months.

We kept following up and sending letters to different MPs and Ministers. On 22nd September 2015, ISLRTC was made autonomous by the PMO which perfectly matched with the International Week of the Deaf Celebration. 

God bless them! The deaf are really happy with this first victory. We hope to work more and more in future.

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History of Activites

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Location: Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi    Activities: Conference
National Conference on Empowering Deaf through Sign Language

Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre, Ministry for Social Justice & Empowered organised the National Conference on Empowering Deaf through Sign Language between 20th to 21st March 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

Inaugurated by Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot - Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. Other reputed names include Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar - Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri N.S Kang - Secretary, DEPwD, Dr Kamlesh Kumar Pandey, Chief Commissioner of Disability and Shri Awanish Kumar Awasthi - Joint Secretary, DEPwD.

Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre, Ministry for Social Justice & Empowerment has partnered with Sai Swayam Society, National Association of the Deaf, Deaf Enabled Foundation, All India Foundation of Deaf Women, Indian Sign Language Interpreters Association and Association of Sign Language Interpreters.

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Location: 4, Vishnu Dig Amber Marg, New Delhi - 11002    Activities:
National Conference on “Empowering Deaf through Indian Sign Language”

Dear Sir/Madam,

Warm greetings from ISLRTC, New Delhi!

It gives us immense pleasure to bring to your kind notice that Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), New Delhi under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India is organizing a two-day national conference on “Empowering Deaf through Indian Sign Language” on 20th -21st March, 2017. We are happy to invite you for the conference. Please forward this mail to all your colleagues in your institute and all others who are in touch with you from our field for wider circulation.

Brochure of the National Conference and the registration form is attached herewith for your reference.

You can send the scanned copy of the registration form duly filled in to the email id: islrtcnationalconference@gmail.com or through post to the address given on the top of the registration form.

Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC)
Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India
IPH, 4, Vishnu Digamber Marg, New Delhi -110002

Documents

Download Sr. Topic Description File Type / Size
1 Registration Form The Registration Form PDF / (0.81 MB)
2 ISLRTC Brochure Brochure about the ISLRTC Conference PDF / (0.90 MB)

Location: Amity University, Noida    Activities: Workshop
Sign Language Program for Students and Staff of Amity University, Noida

National Association of the Deaf Team joined Mrs. Diana Lil Philips (Asst. Professor) from Amity University, Noida addressing the 100 hearing students, professors and staff from Amity University, Noida on 16th February, 2017 at Amity University, Noida. The response was tremendous. The 100 hearing students, professors and staff of Amity University, Noida 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 hearing students to interact with deaf people who approach them. Mrs. Diana Lil Philips (Asst. Professor), Amity University, Noida hopes for active participation from National Association of the Deaf in the student project on Sign Language in formulating this training module.

The program was organized by Amity University, Noida and around 100 hearing students, professors and staff had attended the event.

Mr. Anuj Jain (Project Director), National Association of the Deaf had given the presentation about Awareness for the Deaf to 100 hearing students, professors and staff of Amity University, Noida. Mr. Shashi Kant (Supervisor), Ms. Sonia Bhatia (Program Officer), Mrs. Ritu Panda (Volunteer), Mr. Raj Kumar Jain (Volunteer), Mr. Shivoy Sharma (Interpreter) & Ms. Sarah Sharma (Interpreter) of National Association of the Deaf taught the very basics of Sign Language to 100 hearing students, professors and staff.

This Sign Language Class sent a powerful message on the importance of promotion of Indian Sign language to Professors, Staff and Students of Amity University, Noida.

Dr. Jayanti Pujari, Director of Amity Institute of Rehablitation Science, Amity University, Noida gave the 5 gifts of Tulsi Pots to Mr. Anuj Jain, Mr. Shashi Kant, Mr. Raj Kumar Jain, Ms. Sonia Bhatia and Mrs. Ritu Panda.

Dr. Jayanti Pujari, Director of Amity Institute of Rehablitation Science said she would like to work together with the NAD to conduct the Sign Language Program for Students of Amity University in the future. They were interested in learning the Sign Language and spread awareness about it. They hope to also help the deaf communities in India.

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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.

Videos

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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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WFD Congratulates NAD for ISLRTC as an Autonomous Body

NAD receives the letter from the President of World Federation of the Deaf congraulating NAD for its success in obtaining the Government of India's approval for setting up of ISLRTC as an autonomous body.

Documents

Download Sr. Topic Description File Type / Size
1 World Federation of the Deaf - 29 Sept 2015 Letter from the President of WFD congratulating NAD for establishment of ISLRTC. JPG / (0.09 MB)
NAD Team Celebrated the PM Approving the ISLRTC as an Autonomous Body at BJP’s Headquarter Office

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) today hailed the Centre’s decision to establish an autonomous Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre here. “The decision will help to grow Indian Sign Language and positively change lives of millions of deaf in the country including producing a large number of sign language interpreter,” a spokeperson for the association said. “Approval of autonomy to Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre by the Centre coincides with the International Week of the Deaf celebrated by deaf communities world over in the last week of September. This decision of the Indian Government would raise its standing in the eyes of world of deaf community,” he added. The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi  yesterday had approved the setting up the Centre dedicated to exclusively developing the Indian Sign Language, something that was missing so for in the training curricula in this specialised field. The Centre will be located initially at the Institute for Physically Handicapped, New Delhi. This  decision is expected to help the five million suffering from hearing disabilities in the country. It will also provide for an increased accessibility for the hearing impaired in education, in the workplace and in the all activities of public life. The Centre will draw experts from national level organisations of the deaf, universities, academics institutions and independent experts in India Sign Language. UNI PR CH NK1654-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0104-351566.Xml

Links from:- http://news.webindia123.com/news/articles/India/20150923/2684894.html

NAD welcomes govt's decision to set up Sign Language Centre

(Rptg, rephrasing headline)

New Delhi, Sep 23 (UNI) The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) today hailed the Centre's decision to establish an autonomous Indian Sign Language Research and training Centre here.

''The decision will help to grow Indian sign language and positively change lives of millions of deaf in the country including producing a large number of sign language interpreters,'' a spokesperson for the association said.

Read more at http://www.uniindia.com/nad-welcomes-govt-s-decision-to-set-up-sign-language-centre/national/news/210870.html#pJP2oK0WcZg84T3q.99

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www.india.com - Union Cabinet approved the setting up of ISL Research and Training Centre

The Press on the Website: http://www.india.com/education/union-cabinet-approved-the-setting-up-of-indian-sign-language-research-and-training-centre-1578297/

Documents

Download Sr. Topic Description File Type / Size
1 www.india.com Union Cabinet approved the setting up of Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre JPG / (0.23 MB)

Location: Chandigarh    Activities: Meeting
NAD Team met Shri Satya Jain, Ex-MP of Chandigarh

Shri Yogesh Kumar, Public Relation Officer of NAD with Interpreter Babli met Shri Satya Jain, Ex-MP of Chandigarh on 11th September, 2015. They spoke to Shri Satya Jain that they needed his help for demanding the ISLRTC as an autonomous body. He said he will send the letter to Cabinet Secretariat for approval the ISLRTC as an autonomous body immediately after meeting with the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi.

Location: Chandigarh    Activities: Meeting
NAD Team Met Different VIPs

Shri Yogesh Kumar, Public Relation Officer of NAD with Interpreter Babli met Shri Balramji Dass, Governor of Chhattisgarh, Shri Surjit Kumar Jayani, Minister for Health, Govt. of Punjab, Shri Vijay Dev, Advisor to Administration of Chandigarh, Smt. Kirron Ker, MP of Chandigarh and Shri Sanjay Tandon, President of BJP, Chandigarh on 10th September, 2015. They spoke to all of them that they needed their help for demanding the ISLRTC as an autonomous body. They said they will speak to the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi for demanding the ISLRTC as an autonomous body after the Cabinet Secretariat approval immediately.

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Location: BJP Headquarters, New Delhi    Activities: Meeting
NAD Team met Shri Amit Shah, President of BJP

Shri A.S.Narayanan, Secretary of NAD, Shri Anuj, Joint Secretary of NAD, Smt. Geeta Sharma, Woman Secretary of NAD and Ms. Riya Taneja, Interpreter met Shri Amit Shah, President of BJP. Shri Amit Shah is a very nice person and would tell Shri Narendra Modi, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, about ISLRTC as an autonomous body must be approved by the Cabinet as soon as possible.

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Support the language of 18 millions deaf people in India by establishing an autonomous ISLRTC

The ISLRTC Now campaign is gaining momentum. A petition on Change.org has been created and we are looking for friends , acquaintances to extend their support. Since we focus on accessibility we have translated the text of the petition into ISL for the Indian Deaf Community. It is a request to family, friends , Deaf friends and society at large to extend your support.

Indian Sign Language and its Users cannot be ignored. If we talk of an Inclusive Society for all we need to make sure there is Accessibility in all forms. The Indian Deaf Community needs YOUR SUPPORT.

NAD Team met Smt. Kirron Kher, Hon’ble Member of Parliament of Chandigarh

Shri Yogesh Kumar, Public Relation Officer of NAD with Interpreter Babli visited the residence of Smt. Kirron Kher, MP of Chandigarh on 25th August, 2015. They spoke to Smt. Kirron Kher that they needed her help for demanding the ISLRTC as an autonomous body. She said she will speak to the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi for demanding the ISLRTC as an autonomous body.

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Location: New Delhi    Activities: Meeting
NAD Team & AIFDW Team met Senior Advocate Ram Jethmalani

Shri A. S. Narayanan, Secretary, Shri Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of National Associaiton of the Deaf and Smt. Uma Kapoor, General Secretary of All India Foundation of Deaf Women visited the residence of Shri Ram Jethmalani, Senior Advocate on 25th July, 2015. We spoke to Shri Ram Jethmalani that we needed his help for demanding the ISLRTC as an autonomous body. He said we should make request letter for demanding the ISLRTC as an autonomous. He will tell Shri Arun Jaitley, Finance Minster. He fully supported us. We thanked greatly to Smt. Uma Kapoor, General Secretary of AIFDW led us to meet Shri Ram Jethmalani.

NAD Team met Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Hon’ble Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment

Shri Zorin Singha, President, Shri Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of National Associaiton of the Deaf with NAD Members visited the residence of Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Hon’ble Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment early morning on 6th July, 2015. They spoke to Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot that we, the deaf people in India, needed his help for demanding the ISLRTC as an autonomous body. He said he had already spoken to Dr. Jitendra Singh, PMO regarding ISLRTC. They requested him to encourage Dr. Jitendra to approve the ISLRTC as an autonomous body. He said he would do it surely.

He asked them how to learn the sign language. They taught him the alphabetic and words sign language. He was very inspired to learn it. He spent 45 minutes learning sign language from them. It was a very wonderful experience with Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Hon’ble Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, being a very kind and understanding person.

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NAD Team met Dr. Jitendra Singh, Honble Union Minister for PMO for Demand ISLRTC as an Autonomy Body

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DONER), MOS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has said here today that the Government will sympathetically consider setting up "Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre" as an independent body for the benefit of those suffering from impaired hearing. He was talking to a delegation of National Association of the Deaf (NAD) led by its Secretary, Shri A.S. Narayanan, who requested for withdrawal of the order placing the proposed Indian Sign Language Research Training Centre under Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped (AYJNIHH). They demanded that the proposed autonomous institute for sign language research and training should, instead of being placed under another institute, be managed by concerned experts dealing with hearing impairment as well as by representatives of the Association of the deaf.

Dr. Jitendra Singh gave the deputation a patient hearing and said, the number of persons suffering from hearing impairment in India has gone up in recent years and even though the official census placed their number at 5 million, some of the other surveys have placed their number at much higher figure. In this background, he said, special consideration has to be given to the peculiar requirements of this section of society, so that their talent and aptitudes can be put to the best use and their potential can be exploited in the best possible manner.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said, he has understood the contention expressed by the representatives of NAD that Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped deals more with therapeutic management like cochlear implant, etc., to restore hearing and may not be actually imparting the non-pharmaceutical training like sign language, etc. He would, therefore, take up the issue and try to find a way out, he said.

The Honorable Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office Dr. Rajendra Singh met with the same delegation which met the Minister of Social Justice on 5th. Dr. Singh gave us a very patient hearing and gave us very positive assurance. Dr. Singh who is a medical professor turned minister worked as a Professor of diabetic medicines before joining politics. His academic and medical background took no time to understand how critical it is to mix language with therapeautic and clinical services. the language of the text may look wired to west but for us Indians it is a long overdue outcome. I would like to tell you that Secretary of Department of Empowerment of PWD Sh. Lov Verma and Joint secretary Sh. A. K. Awasthi played an important role to brief the minister in a very positive way (while we were waiting on meeting table). Many thanks to the two friend of deaf people. On 5th after meeting the minister Secretary Sh. Lov Verma set with us for long and we did not miss this opportunity to talk him over various issues and about who deaf people are on the street. Shri Lov Verma had joined the ministry in February and had no background knowledge about the sign language users, deaf community, deaf culture. However after our talk and seeing the huge crowd he realised how valid is our demands. He seems to be a efficient man and we expect him to work with us from now on. The huge crowd was the first big help to force the Minister of social justice to leave parliament and meet us and promise us to take us to priminister office in 15 days but within 24 hours we got phone call to meet the Minister Dr. Singh. The chain of events and outcomes suggests that we worked very organised way for the first time with unity and vigour. Thank you all for your supports. Long live our team leader Shri A.S. Narayanan. We look forward to the official circular/order stating that our 3 demands are met and ISLRTC is officially autonomous.

Press Information Bureau 

Government of India

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances Pensions 08-May-2015 18:00 IST

Government to consider Institute for impaired hearing: Dr Jitendra

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has said here today that the Government will sympathetically consider setting up Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre as an independent body for the benefit of those suffering from impaired hearing. He was talking to a delegation of “National Association of the Deaf” (NAD) led by its Secretary, Shri A.S. Narayanan, who requested for withdrawal of the order placing the proposed Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre under Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped (AYJNIHH). They demanded that the proposed autonomous institute for sign language research and training should, instead of being placed under another institute, be managed by concerned experts dealing with hearing impairment as well as by representatives of the Association of the deaf.

Dr. Jitendra Singh gave the deputation a patient hearing and said, the number of persons suffering from hearing impairment in India has gone up in recent years and even though the official census placed their number at 5 million, some of the other surveys have placed their number at much higher figure. In this background, he said, special consideration has to be given to the peculiar requirements of this section of society, so that their talent and aptitudes can be put to the best use and their potential can be exploited in the best possible manner.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said, he has understood the contention expressed by the representatives of NAD that Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped deals more with therapeutic management like cochlear implant, etc., to restore hearing and may not be actually imparting the non-pharmaceutical training like sign language, etc. He would, therefore, take up the issue and try to find a way out, he said.

Links from:- http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=121492

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Location: Shashtri Bhawan Delhi    Activities: Dharna
Maha Protest for Demanding the ISLRTC as an Autonomous Body

MAHA PROTEST IN DELHI ON 5th MAY 2015 FOR DEMANDING THE ISLRTC AS AN AUTONOMOUS BODY.

Thousands of people gathered at Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi on 5th May, 2015 to create pressure on the Government to pass the ISLRTC as an autonomous boday

More than 5,000 deaf people from all over the country gathered with just one hope in their heart, that the ISLRTC is an autonomous boday and that the disabled citizens of India do not have to wait another 2 or 3 years to get the ISLRTC as an autonomous body.

The Deaf Community in India is one step closer to getting autonomy for ISLRTC! The meeting with MSJE Minister Shri Gehlot, Secretary Shri Verma and other official resulted in a promise for a meeting the PM Modi within 15 days. All work on ISLRTC under NIHH will be stopped until then. Deaf Leaders are planning another demonstration on May 20 if Shri Narender Modi does not meet them or if their demands are not met.

The great part was the media--TV and newspaper--they covered the news in a very positive way. We were posting clippings, links and clips later. Congratulations, NAD and other organizations that worked together.

Part of the group from all over India that participated in the demonstration. Representatives of the group with Secretary Verma.

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Location: Action for Ability Development and Inclusion (AADI), New Delhi    Activities: Conference
National Deaf Conference on Demand Indian Sign Language & Research Training Centre, Autonomy

National Association of the Deaf organized Nation Deaf Conference to come up with strategies for demanding the autonomy of Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre. This was held on 15th March, 2015 in Action for Ability Development and Inclusion (AADI), 2, Balbir Saxena Marg, Hauz Khas, New Delhi

Around 85 deaf participants came from all over India which included national deaf bodies like Mr. Zorin Singha (President of NAD), Mr. A. S. Narayanan (Secretary of NAD), Mr. Onkar Sharma (General Secretary of All India Federation of the Deaf), Mrs. Uma Kapoor (General Secretary of All India Foundation of Women Deaf), Mr. T. K. M. Sandeep (CEO of Deaf Enabled Foundation), Mr. Aqil (India Deaf Society), Mr. Sunil Sahasrabudhe (ISL Teacher), Mr. Sujit Sahasrabudhe ( ISL Researcher), Mr. Sibaji Panda (Lecturer of Uclan University UK), Dr. Madan Vasishta (PhD of Gallaudet University USA) & Dr. Surinder Randhawa (PhD & Professor of BAASLS). It was unanimous decision to demand for the autonomy of ISLRTC.

On 16th March 2015, We met with three Ministers:

  1. Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon’ble Finance Minister
  2. Shri Nitin Gadkhari, Hon’ble Minister for Road and Transport
  3. Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Hon’ble Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment

We made them aware our strong disagreement with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s decision to merge ISLRTC with NIHH. We asked them for their support to make ISLRTC a standalone, autonomous centre under the Ministry.

We are writing this to seek your support in preventing a great injustice towards 10 million deaf citizens of India. Majority of our deaf countrymen use Indian Sign Language (ISL) as their primary mode of communication. ISL is an integral part of the lives of our deaf countrymen an women; it does more than transmit idea and encourage self-expression, it is grounded in their culture and their communities.  Whereas in other countries, government are actively encouraging research in their respective singed languages, including prominent members of the sign language community in the process as well as providing support for interpreter training and access to higher education, our Indian government continues to suppress the use of ISL.

This is also to bring to your kind notice that it was because of the advocacy led by National Association of the Deaf that the Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre was put in the 11th Five Year Plan. NAD has from the beginning, demanded that this Institute should be an independent autonomous body. This also announced establishment of such a Centre in his Budget Speech for 2010-11.

However, the MSJE ignored the input from Deaf Community and leaders and asked IGNOU to take over the project, which resulted in years of delays in implementing all the work proposed and approved by the governing and advisory committees. Additional transgressions include IGNOU’s liberal use of project funds despite not contributing to the project as well as reneging on their promise to provide land for buildings. Though there was much relief when MSJE finally took the ISLRTC out of IGNOU in 2013 in promise of establishing it as an autonomous body, that relief would be short-lived.

After dragging its feet for over 18 months, the Ministry is taking a step that is proving to be worse than putting ISLRTC under IGNOU. It has decided to put the project under Ali Yavar Jung of the National Institute of Hearing Handicapped (NIHH) in New Delhi. On the surface it sounds logical, however, given the history of NIHH, the move is analogous to asking a wolf to raise a lamb.

NIHH is strongly rooted in oral philosophy and all it has little more for ISL during its 32 years of existence than providing few ISL classes in few cities. We are sure that the entire budget allocated for developing ISL interpreters, training teachers in bilingual education of deaf children and involvement of Deaf people in making decision on their education and rehabilitation will be used in other areas.

This is unacceptable and should not be condoned. The project goals and outputs that were approved in 2007 by 11th Five Year Plan have yet to be actualized and it is imperative that the process involves the right people. For example, When a centre to support a spoken language – say Sindhi – is established, it is NOT managed by people who are not Sindhi themselves or do not speak Sindhi. ISLRTC must be managed by people who use ISL and support it.

Later in the day on 16th March, We held a press conference emphasizing the same demand at Indian Women’s press Corp. (Newspapers clipping enclosed).

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Delegation of NAD Team Meets & Congratulates Shri Rajnath Singh, President BJP

Anuj Jain (Joint Secretary), Sonia Bhatia, Rajesh Khandelwal & PinkeyKhandelwal (Sign Language Interpretation) of National Association of the Deaf (NAD) meets & congratulates BJP President, Rajnath Singh for his victory election for his MP on Saturday morning on 24th May, 2014 to request that the Prime Minister's Swearing In Ceremony on Monday, 26th May 2014 must feature sign language interpretation.

BJP President listens intently as Anuj Jain explains his point regarding the importance of Sign Language for India's 18 million deaf citizens.

A visibly pleased NAD delegation at the end of the meeting. We are told that orders have been issued and 3 Sign Language interpreters are being put on duty for the occasion.

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Location: Goa    Activities: Conference
Sign6 International Conference of Sign Language Users

Mr. A.S. Narayanan, Secretary, Mrs. Geeta Sharma, Women Sectretary, Mr. Anuj Jain, Project Director and Ms. Angel Singha, Interpreter participated in Sign6, International Conference of Sign Language Users in Goa from 7th to 9th February 2013. This conference focuses on research on sign languages and deaf studies and a global scope is important for capacity building because Deaf communities are quite small in number in many countries.

Mr. Narayanan was one of three plenary presenters. He talked on the genesis of Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre. The Indian Deaf community fought hard to get ISLRTC on the 11th Five Year Plan Document. There had been so many rallies, protests and meetings to bring this paper to life. And, on 4th October 2011, we had laid its foundation stone in IGNOU. This shows that slowly government is recognising Indian Sign Language and that day isn’t far when ISL would be one of the official languages of India.

There were several sessions like sign language and linguistics, community, culture and deaf education and the status of the same in South Asia. The mode of communication throughout was International Sign Language and Indian Sign Language. We received exposure on the grammatical functions of the A-handshape & the I-handshape in Korean Sign Language, age-related sociolinguistic variation in sign languages with particular reference to Nepali Sign Language, rethinking established concepts in Deaf Studies and many more. There were several critical issues discussed like work on sign language endangerment with UNESCO and how to put deaf women’s needs in every policy especially violence against women.

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Location: IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi    Activities: Workshop
1ST FOUNDATION DAY INDIAN SIGN LANGUAGE RESEARCH AND TRAINING CENTRE (ISLRTC)

We were invited to the first foundation day of Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) on 4th October 2012. The Director I/C of ISLRTC, Prof. A.K. Singh welcomed the paneled guests i.e., Shri Gopi Nath Pradhan, Vice-Chancellor of IGNOU, Dr. Madan Vasishta, Chief Advisor of ISLRTC, Shri A.S. Narayanan, Secretary of National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Shri Sibaji Panda, Lecturer of BAASLS and Dr. Hemlata, Coordinator of  BAASLS and the friends of the Deaf Community and students. He invited the guests and two students to light the lamp to start the function.

Before the Director asked Shri Pradhan to address the audience, he asked Dr. Vasishta and Shri Pradhan to present a laptop to a student of BAASLS whom the faculty found hard working, sincere, determined and with a bright future. Shri Pradhan thanked everyone for taking time out and being a part of ISLRTC’s first year of completion. Soon, the advertisement for posts at ISLRTC will be out and we will have experienced staff and faculty along with the sanction by the Ministry of the construction of the ISLRTC building. The dreams of the deaf community will be coming to life and taking shape.

Prof. Singh then invited Shri Narayanan to share his journey. He journeyed through the time when ISLRTC was only a seed of thought, a dream. Many years ago, NAD had started to demand from the Government for a research and training centre of Indian Sign Language. NAD went to various offices of MSJE and MHRD and met with all the high officials in the Planning Commission (PC) to explain the needs of the Deaf community and they were given promises that ‘something will be done’ but no action had been taken. Finally, the 11th Five-Year Plan had an entire chapter on disability. That Plan mandated the setting up of a Sign Language Research and Training Centre, a National Captioning Centre, at least one residential school up to class XII for deaf students in every state and one degree college in every zone, among other things. But, more than two years after the Plan came into force and the implementation had been zero.

Then, NAD demonstrated against this delay. The Deputy Chairman of PC talked to the PM and later met with Shri Mukul Wasnik, Minister of SJ&E, who started the process which led to the final establishment of ISLRTC on 4th October 2011. He couldn’t believe that one year had passed. ISLRTC was and is the result of the hardwork of thousands of deaf people. All of them came out in the streets to demand for the right to use their mother tongue. NAD is thankful to the Government for establishing ISLRTC last year. This is only a beginning. Soon, ISLRTC branches will be all over India. ISL classes will be in towns and villages and all the schools will use ISL for deaf students. All teachers of deaf students will use ISL. This will make communication and learning by deaf children easier. This will also lead to more interpreters. We need 4 lakh interpreters but have only 200 now. New training programmes will help produce quality and proficient interpreters. It will take time but one day, we will have enough qualified interpreters to meet our need. We will have excellent professors and researchers who will research on ISL. We will know more about our language. We must work together to make sure our rights are preserved. ISLRTC has done some good work in the last year and we hope that it does much more in the coming years. The Deaf community must constantly provide its support to ISLRTC.

Prof. Singh said that never had he ever thought that he would be a part of the Deaf community in any way and now he is and he has never enjoyed more than being a part of this community. This vision will be real soon with the constant guidance of Dr. Vasishta and Shri Narayanan, people who talk less but work a lot unlike the professors who talk a lot but work less.

Dr. Madan Vashista mentioned that if it weren't for the advocacy of National Association of the Deaf, we wouldn't even be having ISLRTC in the first place. Without ISLRTC, we cannot teach ISL or even train the hearing teachers of deaf schools or having a state level workshop of sign language interpreters or educate parents about the needs of a deaf child and link them to organisations that can assist in the child's upbringing.

Shri Sibaji Panda shared the same views as Dr. Vashista. He requested the deaf community to constantly give its support to NAD who truly fights for the needs of the Deaf community and is extremely proactive in its work. As for ISLRTC, since it has taken BAASLS under its wings, we hope to be able to reach the students that are unreachable using IGNOU's networks and BAASLS can have more students in the coming years.

The ceremony ended with students dance performances, skits and jokes showing the culture of the Deaf community.

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Delhi High Court directs the Centre to appoint Sign Language Interpreters in Public Offices

In response to a petition filed by the National Association of the Deaf (N.A.D.), the Delhi High Court has directed the Central Government to conduct a survey of various Government offices to ascertain the number of Sign Language interpreters required to help persons with hearing impairment communicate with officials in order to access various public services.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A. K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also asked the Government to conclude the survey within three months and to appoint a nodal officer to coordinate the exercise.

After hearing the petitioners, the bench gave the directions to “undertake a study/assessment/ survey of the public buildings, hospitals, places of amusement and entertainment, facilities like airports, railway stations, bus stops and other places requiring availability of Sign Language Interpreters” to assess the requirement of interpreters at each of these places.

The survey would also assess for each particular organisation if the Sign Language Interpreters should be formally appointed or whether they should be empanelled with them to be available at short notice or with prior appointment, said the order.

Furthermore, the bench directed the Government to “recruit an adequate number of interpreters at specific points of interface of persons with disability with Government services such as disability commissioners, special employment exchanges, vocational rehabilitation centres and district disability rehabilitation centres and in all the major Departments and Ministries.”

It also passed the order to create a pool of Sigh Language Interpreters to provide services at major railway stations, major airports, banks, post offices, hospitals, bus terminals, police stations, places of education, vocational rehabilitation centres, major administration offices, in the judiciary, employment exchanges and for Government interviews for jobs involving people with hearing impairment.

Location: IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, Delhi    Activities: Conference Events
India’s First Indian Sign Language Research & Training Center (ISLRTC)

Shri Mukul Wasnik, Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment & Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal here today inaugurated the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) at the IGNOU Campus. Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri K.M. Acharya, Secretary (SJ&E), Smt Vibha Puri Das, Secretary (HRD), Professor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU, Prof P.R. Ramanujam, Pro Vice Chancellor, IGNOU, Prof Madan Vasishta, Honorary Director, ISLRTC, Shri Ramesh Warlyani, Vice Chairman, National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language (NCPSL), Mr. A. S. Narayanan, Secretary of National Association of the Deaf and other dignitaries were present on the occasion at IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, Delhi on 4th October, 2011.

Dr. Madan Vasishta, Honorary Director of ISLRTC is very pleased to have opening the ISLRTC this year. He is most thankful for (SJ&E) who approved the opening the ISLRTC. He has a lot of experiences for Sign Languages in different countries of the World.

Mr. A. S. Narayanan, Secretary of NAD expressed his thankfulness to Mr. Shri Mukul Wasnik, Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment & Shri K.M. Acharya, Secretary (SJ&E) who approved our waiting for 5 years of the opening of the ISLRTC. He said the benefits of ISLRTC for deaf teachers, hearing interpreters, deaf parents & deaf students to learn the profession of Indian Sign Language. He said he and his people came a dream true that ISLRTC is opening at IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, Delhi today. He specially thanked to all deaf people who had been sacrificing to come the Rally and the Protest for demanding to Govt. of SJE provide the ISLRTC for 5 years.

Shri Wasnik said that ISLRTC is the realization of the long cherished dream of the deaf community in India. It is an exclusive education project for teaching, learning, training and capacity building for the vast deaf population. It will be a full time teaching and training center for Indian Sign Language combined with distance teaching/learning opportunities. This research centre is the first of its kind in India with centres attached to IGNOU. There will be zonal/regional centers in different geographic regions of the country. The center would consist of short term, medium and full-fledged programmes for both the un-trained and experienced teachers of the deaf schools.

Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment said that in India, as per 2001 census, the population with hearing impairment was over 12.62 Lakhs and as per 58th round of NSSO the hearing impaired population was 30.62 Lakhs. A significant number of deaf persons essentially depend on Sign Language for communication; hence this is an historic occasion, depicting the commitment of the Government to fulfill the needs of the deaf community in India. The inclusion of deaf people in the larger development activity of the country depends significantly on promotion of Sign Language, Shri Mukul Wasnik said. He further said that Sign Language in India is in nascent stage and evolving. Even the reach of it also by far is limited to some pockets of the country. Therefore, we need to think innovatively to reach out to the people who are in need. One such activity could be having Sign Language Clubs. In USA, there is a concept of Sign Language Clubs. These clubs are attached to colleges and universities. Shri Wasnik requested the Director, ISLRTC, to explore the possibilities of having such clubs in India. European Sign Language Centre through the web based computer tool www.spreadthesign.com created a web of itself in 10 European countries.

The Minister requested the Director to explore the possibility of creating a web of ISLRTC in our States and UT’s. Information and Communication Technology should be used to its maximum advantage in reaching out to the deaf people, Shri Mukul Wasnik said.

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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: Imphal (Manipur), India    Activities: Workshop
Visited for Deaf Manipur

On 21st March, 2009 NAD, Secretary Mr. A.S. Narayanan, was invited for two days workshop by the Secretary of All Manipur Association of the Deaf and Mute. This was the first time experience to attend a workshop in Imphal. Mr. Narayanan explained all deaf about the unity for the deaf which he felt the people there were interested to learn about it. But the major problem they faced was the different Sign Language as it varies from place to place.

Here the question is that there should be a unifrom Sign Language for all Indian. If there is a standard language it bring hearing impaired people more closer and makes them communicate well without any hurdle in course of their communication.

We hope that NAD which has made a pioneer effort to reach the North East region shall grow further.

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