Disappointing but Not Giving Up

Disappointing but not Giving Up

With the numerous updates following up on social media networks and this webpage, we all are aware that a Maha Rally of People With Disabilities took place on 3rd Feb 2014 at India Gate New Delhi. As the report goes more than 15000 people with disabilities were gathered on one ground, with one voice – Save the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill. We saw huge participation from Deaf Community from across the country. We didn’t expect so many participants from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh. However we were humbled to see our friends from far and wide come overcoming hardships like travelling long distances, running around to get confirmed tickets, looking for accommodation so on and so forth. With winters still at its peak in New Delhi most of the trains were running late yet the Deaf from far and wide took it as a challenge to reach India Gate as soon as they reached New Delhi. Considering the efforts and hard work put in by each and every individual we hoped that the Bill would be tabled in this parliamentary session. Turns out we were unaware of another little storm coming up. Certain groups of the Disability sector were unhappy with the Bill, they contacted the CPI and asked that the Bill be stopped. This has been the biggest downfall for the Disability Community.

Not many of us realise that Deafness is a hidden disability. Unlike other disabilities that can be noticed easily, a Deaf person is identified as Deaf only when he uses his hands to communicate. The PWD Act 1995 was in force in the past and when it spoke of various reservations, support and education for all, many disabilities could make use of the provisions for their upliftment. People who are from various disabilities have managed to get educated, earn degrees and some even got employed. However the Deaf have always suffered. This is because the PWD Act didn’t support sign language for Deaf, Communication options and need for interpreters. This has lead to the stagnated development of the Deaf community since the PWD Act of 1995 was passed. Visually Impaired, orthopedically challenged as well as others have managed to have higher education, improved their lives, status. The same is not true for the 18 million deaf in India. Even basic education has been a sad plight. Information through news, radio and even from a conversation among others has not been major challenge for people who are not Deaf. This is because they all use the spoken language and can hear. For the Deaf community their language for communication – sign language has been denied for centuries. Hence they are misinformed, left to guess the information and again could not achieve a better lifestyle due to no access to higher education.

This RPWD Bill will change the lives of many deaf because for the very first time in Indian history focus has been on provisions to have sign language, interpreters, education and employment for Deaf people. Considering the past this is the first window to a better future for the Deaf. Hence the RPWD Bill is very crucial. It has to be passed in this session. Moving it to the Standing Committee will only delay the needs of the Deaf community furthermore. For these precise reasons the Deaf community is hurt and demands that the RPWD Bill be passed.

Written by Atiya Hajee

Newspaper Articles

Times Of India
Feburary, 18, 2014

The Hindu
Feburary, 18, 2014

Hindustan Times
Feburary, 12, 2014

Times Of India
Feburary, 11, 2014


National Association of the Deaf
Deaf Enabled Foundation
Bombay Foundation of Deaf Women
Deaf Entertainment
Mook Badhir Mandal
Speaking Hands Institute for the Deaf
LEED, Pune
Yuva Association of the Deaf
Archana Ampoules Pvt. Ltd.

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