Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Indian Sign Language Dictionary, as well as five other education initiatives, on the occasion of Shikshak Parv 2021
The NEP attempts to standardise the teaching of Indian Sign Language to hearing and speech impaired people a century after it was first reported. Madan Vasishta, now 79, went deaf at the age of 11 after contracting mumps and typhoid. But it wasn’t until he was 20 that he learned sign language for the first time.
“Until I was 20, I resided in my hamlet (in Himachal Pradesh) tending livestock and ploughing fields “He communicates via email. “In 1961, I moved to Delhi to enrol in a deaf photography school. That was the first time I observed two deaf men sign to each other. I was enthralled by their ability to communicate with one another solely via the use of their hands.”
Vasishta quickly picked up on the symptoms and became a proficient user. With his new talents, he continued his education at Gallaudet University, a private university in the United States that specialises in deaf education. In the decades that followed, he pioneered research in the Indian Sign Language (ISL), which was officially acknowledged in 1977. People would frequently “stop and stare” when it was used “, says Vasishta, who has written several books on ISL and had personal experience with the language. “It’s still true today.”
However, there is reason to believe that things will improve. On July 30, the National Education Policy (NEP) declared for the first time its intention to formalise and promote the use of ISL: “Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardised across the country, and National and State curriculum materials will be developed, for use by students with hearing impairment.” Wherever practicable and suitable, local sign languages shall be respected and taught.”
The policy objective is the culmination of a century-long effort for proponents of ISL, but the details are yet unknown. According to a World Health Organization report, around 6.3 million people in India have partial or total hearing loss. What is Indian Sign Language, exactly? It’s a collection of hand and facial motions used to communicate by people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It has its own grammar, syntax, and regional “dialects,” which are just distinct gestures for the same phrase or emotion. The ISL has significant parallels to the sign languages used in Pakistan and Nepal, according to research conducted over the years. The major distinction between sign languages and spoken languages is that sign languages are visual, whereas spoken languages are aural.
There are around 135 sign languages in the globe. The first reported use of ISL was in the nineteenth century, but it was associated with impairment far into the twentieth. “Since the first school was created in Bombay in 1885, deaf children’s education in India has been exclusively oral “In a study titled Indian Sign Language And Bilingual Education, Vasishta says. “Oral communication” “Lip-reading and speech therapy are the terms used here. “The children used signals to communicate with one another, resulting in the creation of thriving sign languages in India’s deaf schools at the time.