A silent march by deaf community to raise awareness on World Disability Day
3 December is observed as the International Day of Disabled Persons. The day is meant to promote awareness about the rights of people with disabilities as part of our world. Various deaf organisations and activists in Maharashtra are organising a special march today to raise the demand for recognition of Indian sign language-ISL.
A widespread campaign is ongoing across the country calling for the Indian sign language to be added to the Indian Constitution as an official language of the country. The online campaign #InclusionOfIndianSignLanguageInIndianConstitution calls for demand to be raised from all corners of the country so that lawmakers take the much awaited action.
As part of the campaign a silent march will be held today in Mumbai. “Walk to get ISL Recognised” will see the participation of people of the deaf community from across the state.
We have been raising the demands for the welfare of deaf people for a long time now. However, government and authorities are yet to take any concrete steps for the benefit of people who are deaf. Indian sign language should be officially recognized and steps should be taken to provide for the rights of the deaf community.-Pradeep More, General Secretary State Level Association of the Deaf (SLAD) Maharashtra
March participants are invited to walk from Dadar Railway Station to Shivaji Park and create awareness about ISL. Hundreds of deaf people as well as hearing people will be participating in the march.
Some of the main objectives of the march are: to promote Inclusion of Indian Sign Language in the Indian Constitution, recognise ISL as the natural language used by the deaf people, to promote inclusive education of deaf, to sensitize society towards the needs of people with disabilities, to raise awareness about the rights of the deaf community etc.
Anand Gollar, President, DAM – Deaf Association Mumbai feels that the walk will strengthen the unity of the deaf community and help them raise the awareness about their demands.
He says, “We are walking together today for the future generations and we hope that the authorities will listen to our demands and take positive steps instead of just assuring us with false promises.”
All the deaf associations from Maharshatra are coming together under the banner of ‘Unity of all the Deaf Associations, Maharashtra’ for the silent march.