Signing joy on International Deaf Day - The New Indian Express

Signing joy on International Deaf Day

Published: 01st October 2013 08:00 AM

Last Updated: 01st October 2013 08:00 AM

The 56th International Deaf Day was celebrated with great vigor and excitement at the Little Flower Convent For Blind and Deaf on Sunday evening.

The event was organised by the Association for the Deaf and many hearing and speech impaired persons from all over the state attended this meeting. Over 300 speech and hearing impaired people from Madurai, Coimbatore, Villupuram, Namakkal, Tanjore, Krishnagiri and Dhindivanam participated in this event. All the attendees were either deaf or dumb from all age groups and different lifestyles. Some of them have Government jobs.

The presidents of several deaf associations in the state presided over the function. VR Venkatesan, editor of ‘The Silence Brotherhood’ and organising secretary addressed the gathering using sign language and pictures. He said that they should spread awareness in Tamil Nadu. He also said that the deaf and dumb must be given two per cent reservation in jobs.

 V Swaminathan, president of the Tamil Nadu State Federation for the Deaf said, “Deaf and dumb people should not be separated from society but should mingle with the normal world.”

Although many of them have jobs it was noted by Venkatesan that many companies tend to avoid employing the hearing and speech impaired people.

But even beyond their disability there are achievers like Stephen who has been a licensed bus driver for the past 10 years. He works for a private engineering college and also heads the group of drivers there.

“Given the opportunity, even we can achieve great things,”says Stephen.

The proceedings of the event were just like any other normal meeting but instead of sound there was a flurry of hand movements. Deaf and dumb students from Presidency college were also present. The event ended on a happy note with the participants energised after spending time with people who share their disability.

Also to commemorate the day, the Deaf Enabled Foundation along with Dr Reddy’s Foundation, Arumbakkam and the Association For The Deaf organised a march from the Lighthouse to the Labour Statue along the Marina Beach at 9am. At the end of the march, several speech impaired people emphasised the need for common citizens to learn sign language.

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