The Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javdekar has announced a cabinet decision requesting all private channels to run their news bulletin in sign language once a week. The Minister has said that the private channels have willingly accepted the decision and guidelines have been issued for the same.
In related news, history was created recently in the state of Nagaland when Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio’s Independence Day speech was interpreted in sign language for the first time in the state.
The union government has previously taken many measures to promote sign language for the benefit of the differently abled or Divyang population. Some of them are:
1. India’s first Sign Language dictionary containing about 3000 words in 2018. This dictionary has been developed by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training centre which functions under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
2. The Department also in November 2018 issued an order mandating all government departments to also provide for a sign language interpreter during their meetings, seminars and other official meetings.
3. However, according to activists the New Education Policy announced by the Government this year has ignored the needs of the differently abled including those who need sign language interpretation tools.