Bollywood star Ranveer Singh, who has been lobbying with authorities to declare Indian Sign Language (ISL) as the country 23rd official language, and signed a petition in support of the cause, has lauded the steps taken by India to make textbooks and other educational material accessible for deaf children in sign language.
Ranveer’s independent record label, IncInk, which he has launched with Navzar Eranee, has released multiple sign language music videos. In September, the ‘Gully Boy’ star released two sign language videos to increase awareness about ISL.
He also lauded the MoU signed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) with the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) to assist deaf children in Classes I to V with educational material in sign language.
In a statement, Ranveer said that it was “a huge step forward in a truly inclusive society”. He added that “inclusivity leads to accessibility” and that he was “hopeful of what is to come in 2022” because the country’s leaders are “identifying with this movement”.
The availability of NCERT textbooks in ISL will ensure hearing-impaired children can now access educational resources and they will be a useful resource for teachers, teacher educators, parents and the hearing-impaired community.
“The National Education Policy 2020 is a progressive move that is much needed by the deaf community and the nation and I commend this big step. This is an important start to equalise the playing field for the 70 lakh-plus citizens of the deaf community,” Ranveer said.