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State level conference discusses the rights of deaf community in Maharashtra

The 8th Maharashtra Deaf Conference 2018 held in Thane was well attended, with over 300 people from across the state present to speak for the deaf community.

The event was organised by the State Level Association of the Deaf (SLAD) with Omkar Karnabadhir Vikas Sanstha in Dombivli.

The gathering was marked by the launch of a website for the SLAD - www.slad.in .

Pradeep More,General Secretary, SLAD hopes that the website will help empowering the deaf community by informing them about their rights.

The launch of the website is going to impact a large number of deaf people. It will also give awareness, empowerment to the Deaf community about their rights and sensitize the hearing community about the needs and demands of the Deaf Community. The SLAD is trying to put indepth information about their rights, and our work towards making the community independent. - Pradeep More, General Secretary, State Level Association of the Deaf (SLAD)

The conference was attended by representatives from 26 districts of Maharashtra and brought together deaf people from remote parts of the state. The aim was to raise the issues of inequality and discrimination faced by the deaf community due to apathy of the administration.

The SLAD has been actively raising these concerns with the local and state-level authorities. Despite frequent assurances from the government, not much has been done so far for the welfare of the deaf people in Maharashtra. Members of the deaf community feel that their demands are being ignored and not enough is being practically done to include them into the mainstream.

"Since 2013 we are fighting with the government to get our demands approve so that the deaf community can lead a independent life. The government has always ignored the deaf community when it comes to their rights. So there is nothing expected from the government but we are hoping that one day there will be good news," says Jaysing Kale, Joint Secretary, SLAD.

It was decided at the conference that the deaf community would take the help of the judicial system to get justice and continue to push the government for their rights.

"SLAD has affiliated with 26 districts of Maharashtra and have 26 Delegates from each district. Our next step will be to educate these 26 delegates more about the RPWD Act 2016 so they will know the law. We will be going to hold our Executive meeting probably in the month of January 2019 to discuss further to achieve our demands from the government & way ahead!"- said Rajesh Kulkarni, Executive Member, SLAD & President, OKVS.

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