History in the Making 2013-2014
January 24, 2014

India got Independence in 1947. From then till today many transformations have led to the development of the country. Cities have grown, education system has undergone a change and employment is on international standards. However one this didn’t change ever. The plight of the Deaf citizens of the country. Right from not being identified in the census to being considered unable to do much; the Deaf community of India has been living in the shadows of the system and the hearing society.

However 2013-14 has brought about a revolution in the community. For the first time in India the Deaf community has shown its unity across the country.

The journey began with National Association of the Deaf [NAD] working on a draft for the People with Disabilities 2012. The PWD Act of 1995 has been available in the country. However it has not been instrumental in bringing about a positive change to the lives of deaf people. Inaccessible education, oppression by the oralist, limited information to parents of Deaf children and no awareness about Indian Sign Language. This has all been a fact for all these years.

Finally NAD under the guidance of Disabled Rights Group [DRG], came together to reconstruct the PWD Act of 1995 to get rid of the many loop holes. The whole process began in 2010 with DRG and NAD and various disability group representatives came together to discuss the areas of concern and ways to amend them. Thus began a lengthy process of meetings, gathering information and collating data. NAD being an association of Deaf focused on the burning issues that hurt the Deaf community most

  • Education
  • Accessibility of information
  • Employment
  • Equality

The first step was to create awareness in the Deaf community of the PWD Act its implications and the new Rights of People with Disability draft [RPWD]. To do this technology was used to the maximum level. With WhatsApp on smart phones a group of Deaf Leaders from across the country all came together to discuss the details of the RPWD. Videos in sign language were streaming across Facebook and shared through smart phones. Heated debates on issues like inclusive education, terms to address Deaf people – HI / HSI / Deaf were the most debatable topics.

This led to the culmination of the “Save the Rights of People with Disability” Workshop at Vadodara Gujarat. Organised and hosted by Mook Badhir Mandal – Deaf Association of Vadodara.

Written by Atiya Hajee


Workshop at Vadodara

Interview with A.S.Narayanan


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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