CHENNAI: Donning yellow caps and holding balloons, more than 200 aurally-challenged people walked through the Marina promenade on Sunday evening to spread an awareness of sign language.
The rally, flagged off by TMN Deepak, founder of December 3 Movement, was organised by the Tamil Nadu State Federation of the Deaf on International Day of Deaf (September 25).
Several visitors to the Marina got pamphlets titled, ‘Reasons for learning sign language’, with the foremost listed point stating ‘Sign Language brings together deaf and hearing people’. It was this message which federation office bearers conveyed to Express.
Speaking through a interpreter, E K Jamal Ali, the federation president, said it was a struggle for hearing challenged persons in government offices and private work places, as even basic services were beyond the reach because of their disability.
As a first step, “The Indian sign language, commonly used by the aurally-challenged people, must be accorded official status by the Central government,” Jamal Ali said. He also wanted the State government to start more training institutes, which could teach sign language to interested people. “At present, there are only a handful of government-run training institutes. If that number is increased, more trained people can get jobs in government offices to help us,” Ali added.
After the rally, which started from Light House and ended at the Labour Statue, a cultural programme was organised, showcasing the talent of the hearing-challenged persons to the public.