DEPwD’S Tableau on “Indian Sign Language”- A Special Attraction at this Year’s Republic Day Parade

The Tableau of Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment showcases the theme ‘Bhartiya Sanketik Bhasha– Ek Rashtra, Ek Sanketik Bhasha’. It highlights the unifying nature of Indian Sign Language (ISL) in a nation, where there is a great diversity in spoken languages. The aim of the Tableau is to raise awareness and highlight the commitment of the Government towards creating a barrier-free environment for persons with hearing disabilities by promoting ISL.

Dr. Sharita Sharma, Assistant Professor, ISLRTC is the group leader for the Tableau. In the Tableau, there will be 12 artists, in the age group of 20-23, as follows: Names of artists on Tableau: Utkarsh Chaurasia; Abhishek Gautam; Gargi Shukla; and Stuti Kumari. Names of the artists on Ground: Divyansha; Deepali; Trilok; Pankaj; Neha; Rinku; Ritu; and Sakshi. They will be seen on the Tableau performing the theme song in Indian Sign Language.

Sign language is a visual language that uses hands, facial and body movements as a means of communication for persons with hearing disabilities. It is a unique and unifying language that connects all persons with hearing disabilities in the country. There are many spoken languages in the country, but there is only one Indian Sign Language. With a view to enhancing accessibility for the hearing impaired, a need was felt to set up an Institute focusing on the development and furtherance of Indian Sign Language.

Accordingly, Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), New Delhi was set up on 28th September, 2015, as an autonomous body under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The main objective of the Centre is to develop manpower for using, teaching and conducting research in Indian Sign Language.

ISLRTC conducts courses for developing Indian Sign Language (ISL) Interpreters and teachers and provides interpretation services to organizations for various programs & events. It has developed a dictionary of ISL containing 6000 Academic, Medical, Legal and Agricultural terms in addition to terms of everyday use. The Centre also provides Short Term Training Programmes on basic ISL communication skills. To make educational materials accessible for children with hearing disabilities, ISLRTC has signed an MoU with National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). As part of this MoU, educational print materials such as school text books of Classes I to XII of all subjects (both Hindi and English medium) are being converted into ISL.