Mumbai-based organisation VPRES aims to become the voice of the deaf community
The Vimantal Parisar Rahiwasi Ekta Sangh, VPRES, was founded in Mumbai to empower the people who are living in slums and are hardly noticed or cared for by the authorities. After years of dedicated work for the welfare of the community, VPRES has now launched a new wing that is dedicated to the welfare of people who are deaf.
The VPRES Deaf Organization is keen on raising the demands on behalf of the deaf community not just in Maharashtra but across the country. Subhash Gaikwad an advocate in the Bombay High Court and well-known social activist is the chairman of VPRES.
There are so many things that need to be changed around us to provide valuable in the equal opportunity to the deaf people. We at VPRES noticed that there are very few provisions that are for the betterment of the deaf people in India. There is lack of accessibility, opportunity and acceptance everywhere and we wish to change that by raising demand for improvements. – Subhash Gaikwad, Chairman, VPRES Vimantal Parisar Rahiwasi Ekta Sangh
The VPRES Deaf wing has started reaching out to various authorities with their demands. Some of them include:
Accessibility in public transport – Deaf travellers are not able to hear announcements at railways stations and miss out on crucial messages. They even miss their trains when platform changes are announced at the last moment. There should be deaf accessible information displays at all railways stations in India with sign language-based message boards.
Jobs – Deaf people should be considered for jobs where minimum communication is required, such as billing payment counters, computer operator, data entry etc.
Acceptance – Social acceptance, dignity and respect are the rights of all deaf people.
Accessible government offices – Deaf people are not able to communicate with others in the absence of interpreters and this affects them to a large extent. There should be provisions for such miscommunications to be avoided particularly in government offices.
- Education: – Quality education, accommodation and employment should be accessible for the deaf people.
Gaikwad adds, “There are many demands that we are raising as so much needs to be done for the upliftment of deaf people. The government should take steps to provide for the rights of the people who are deaf and we will continue supporting them. We have a lot of plans and our vision is to ensure a better quality of life for the deaf community and their future generations.”
For years people of the deaf community have been struggling to get their voices heard. However, very little has been done to make the country accessible. Be it education, employment, transportation, deaf people feel left out as their inclusion needs are not met.
Mahesh Pawar, who is the president, adds “Deaf people are ignored all the time by policymakers and our voices are not heard. People of the deaf community are not able to get the benefits of various schemes due to Communication barriers. It is important for the government and departments to ensure that deaf people get their rights under the RPWD Act 2016.
VPRES is hopeful that sooner or later government and authorities will pay heed and look into their demands. In the meantime, VPRES will continue to reach out to the various departments and raise their issues.
To know more about VPRES Deaf Wing initiatives, Call +91 98691 78700. Or WhatsApp +91 88501 47078.