The World Deaf Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of September every year. It was started in Sweden in the year 1958, a day not just to solely extend our sympathies to the deaf, but to see it as a moment to make changes in their lives, create awareness among the public on how much they can contribute to the society.
India, a country where there are so many dialects spoken, people still happen to face problems in communicating. Imagine the magnitude of setback and the level of difficulty people face who have a shortcoming in their sense of hearing. India has one of the largest deaf population in the world with 7 crore residing here and the biggest notion holding them back is their inability to communicate effectively with others.
Often parents of hearing impaired kids are worried that their child may not be able to have a happy childhood, or a normal adolescence. They hold fears regarding their child’s ability to make friends, be able to laugh or have fun? There are so many misconceptions that creep into the parents minds, but there is a much needed enlightenment that is required as deaf kids can definitely do all these things and excel at them!
They do require some special assistance but this does not highlight it as their disability. People often assume that a deaf people in a public place are often at the mercy of their companion, and how their life is full of hardship from childhood to their ending days, but that is not the case in real life. Ever ask a deaf person about his disability and he will proudly tell you, deafness is an identity and not an impairment. They do not take deafness as a problem which requires a fix.
Fiinovation believes that education is key to solving most problems of the hearing impaired. In present day, awareness among the deaf people regarding education is gaining momentum. Still, we do not have enough hearing impaired schools. Do we even have sufficient universities and vocational training institutes, for them to become self sufficient Learning sign language is crucial for the initial years as it helps them set a foundation for communication.
The government can greatly change the dynamics of the state of hearing impaired citizens of India. There is a need of a central government body to look into the matters of the deaf, so the government should in the first place reinstate National Disability Commission which was abolished back in 2007. It should give ear to the demands of the physically handicapped and work towards eradicating the shortcomings the this segment of the society faces at the national level. This commission can serve to ensure that even people with disabilities lead full and productive lives.
Fiinovation believes that the family of the hearing impaired should take up an important role by supporting, encouraging and motivating them. Parents, siblings or relatives, should have willingness to support that special member of the family and never make them feel that he/she is a cause of social embarrassment. Worldwide, deaf culture is becoming active, even normal people should indulge in learning sign language as it can be a great way to promote an atmosphere of equality and independence.
By – Shantanu Negi
Media & Communication | Fiinovation