November campaign of Kerala-based NGO ‘Dreams of Us’ aims to promote Indian Sign Language
Kozhikode-based NGO ‘Dreams of Us’ has started a month-long campaign called ‘Samasamam’ to promote Indian Sign Language (ISL). The team aims to popularize ISL and make it part of India’s educational system too. Read on to know more about ‘Samasamam’.
‘Samasamam’ in Malayalam means ‘equality’. That is just what Kozhikode-based NGO ‘Dreams of Us’ aims to do. Their team wants to bridge barriers between people with and without disabilities. Their one month-long campaign which will run throughout November, aims to promote the Indian Sign Language (ISL) through different mediums. They are holding awareness sessions, online classes and using social media to share tags #ISupportSignLanguage and #ILikeSignLanguage to create awareness in the society.
‘Dreams of Us’, for inclusion
Launched in the year 2016 with motive to empower disabled people, ‘Dreams of Us’ has held various programs over the years for people with disabilities in Kerala.
Being an NGO vocal about barriers faced by disabled people, ‘Dreams of Us’ wants to put in their best to promote sign language which is a way to communicate with people who are deaf.
Some of their projects include ‘Sign Language for all’ where sign language is taught to a larger audience, ‘Silent Dreams’ for deaf people and ‘Out of the box’ where disabled people are guided for leadership programs to involve them in mainstream society.
‘Samasamam’ was started on 1 November and will go on till 30 November. Hundreds of people are already part of their campaign that has been getting amazing reviews from all sides.
‘Samasamam’ for bridging barriers
“One of the biggest challenges faced by us is that we do not know how to communicate with deaf people only because we do not know the ISL. Instead of trying to teach them our language, why can’t we learn theirs? This thought is what led us to start ‘Samasamam’. We want to create an inclusive culture in India. By teaching people sign language, we are creating basic awareness”, says Sukhadev KS, one of the founders of ‘Dreams of Us’.
Promoting ISL and ensuring that people become aware of it does not come very easy. “Many are still skeptical. Those who are interested can join our campaign. We want ISL to be part of the education system, just like how children learn every other language at school”, says Sukhadev who believes that by teaching ISL to one person, they can teach many others. The language can spread far and wide and hence become known to every child and adult.
Every weekend, they hold one hour ISL classes where interested people can participate. Two sessions have been successfully completed already. People from different parts of the world are part of ‘Samasamam’. The team has also created WhatsApp groups for interested people.
Project coordinator Shameera who is a chemistry teacher says, “We had been part of a similar campaign for Spinal Muscular Atrophy month. So we know how successful it can be to reach out through online mediums. I’am sure at least once in life, we all have faced a barrier trying to communicate to another person whose language we do not know. We want to popularize ISL and make it a language just like every other”.
If you want to learn ISL or become part of the campaign, call +91 94474-24704.
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