World Sign Language Day 2020: Bridging the gap

World Sign Language Day 2020: Bridging the gap

A few days back, humanity suffered a massive setback when a policeman in Uttar Pradesh assaulted a physically challenged rickshaw driver, dragging him to the police station. A nation that's preoccupied with Bollywood and political games, this incident, for all the obvious reasons, didn't make it to the prime time.

Here are some of the headlines from recent times:

  • The murder of deaf and mute Girl is the latest in a string of rapes against children in India
  •  Deaf and mute minor raped, murder
  • Girl, 3, raped and murdered in India due to feud in families
  • Teenage COVID-19 patient raped by a paramedic while being taken to hospital
  • Godda deaf-mute rape: Cops nab one, hunt on for another

No, today is no Women's Day that I choose to highlight this. Nor it's a humanitarian day where we talk of humanity. It's just that people with disabilities are more vulnerable to harm. They are at least three times more likely to be victims of more violent crimes. Judiciary and the government bodies have often failed them.

Most crimes and atrocities on specially-abled go un-noticed under the nose of police as they are not trained enough to interpret the communication from the victim, who is already in mental trauma after the incident.

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September 23 is observed as World Sign Language Day. The thought behind it is to preserve and to support the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all deaf people and other sign language users across the globe, every year, along with International Week of the Deaf.

September 23 was chosen for this purpose because the World Federation of the Deaf was established in 1951 on the same date.

According to a survey by the World Federation of the Deaf, there are approximately 72 million deaf people around the world, and more than 80 per cent of them live in developing countries. Collectively, there are 300 different sign languages which are region-specific, according to the necessity of the communicator.

Sign languages are a full-fledged language with unique grammar and distinct vocabulary, just like any other spoken language. Much to our surprise, and for information to all readers, there is also an international sign language which used in international meetings and is also used by the deaf to socialise within the community. It is considered as the modified version of sign language with a limited dictionary, and it is not as complex as other sign languages.

The UN general assembly has declared September 23 to as the International Day of Sign Languages to raise awareness around sign languages.

While there is no end to insensitivities or brutalities meted out to the specially-abled, on a brighter note, we are living in times when the world has opened up, discussed the previously unspoken subjects and cared for fellow humans like never before.

Creating a unique rap for the deaf, Rok Nahi Paayega was penned by SlowCheeta:

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