There are than 80 million deaf people in India. Even though the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Bill 2016 was passed into an Act by the Indian Parliament in December 2nd 2016, the deaf community is still marginalized and easily overlooked upon.
In an effort to change the view of the outside world, towards the deaf Community, Yuva Association of the Deaf (YAD) organised the 12th World Deaf Day (WDD) on 5th November 2017 from 9am to 1pm at Shivaji Park, Dadar, Mumbai where the deaf individuals from different organisations were welcome to be a part of this peaceful rally.
Total 900+ deaf members residing in Mumbai attended this event.
The board members of YAD distributed the sponsored caps, food and mineral water to the participants. There were different motivational lectures by prominent deaf leaders like Alok Kejriwal - Chairman of YAD; Aqil Chinoy - Vice-Chairman of YAD; Ashish Nahar - President and Ritesh Modi – Vice President of YAD.
In between the lectures, there were different dramas, comedy plays and dances by the deaf actors/actress. There were face-painting by talented deaf artists. Before the closing of the event, there was a peaceful rally along the path around the Shivaji Park by the deaf individuals carrying their banner with slogans to maintain awareness on the deafness. Deaf volunteers were present to ensure no inconvenience were caused to the public. In overall, it was an eye-opener for the public.
WDD is celebrated every year in the last week of September to maintain awareness and to draw the attention of general public towards the deaf community.
The main objectives of WDD are:
- To promote nationwide awareness on deafness and deaf culture.
- To motivate the people to learn Indian Sign Language which is the natural language of most of the deaf population in India.
- To ensure that human rights with equal access to the education and modern technologies as stated in RPWD are adhered.
- To seek support in making available the required resources for improving the lifestyles of the deaf people.
The WDD event was sponsored by India Signing Hands Pvt. Ltd. (ISH) and SSF Plastics Pvt Ltd.