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New ITIs in MP to have sign language as medium of instruction


Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh is set to recognize sign language as a separate language in the state and within the next one year, 10 Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) would be providing vocational training to those who are hearing and speech impaired. The new ITIs would be set up at divisional headquarters, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced, addressing such differently-abled children in Indore on Sunday.

MP would be the first Indian state to have ITIs in sign language. Chouhan also informed that two teachers for sign language will be placed in each school in the State.

Earlier, CM Chouhan had promised to bring in beneficial steps towards the welfare of disabled children and the institutes working for them, on his Indore visit on November 19.

Speaking of differently-abled children, Chouhan said that they had ample talent, but the State Government needed to assist them and provide them with opportunities to develop their talent further.

He announced that professional courses pursued by students who are hearing and speech impaired would be borne by the government, and the state would assign interpreters to assist them. The students, pursuing Bachelor of Education (B. Ed) or Diploma in Education (D. Ed), would be taught in sign language. Special sports facilities will also be introduced for them.

Chouhan gave gifts as well as economic assistance to the children. The CM also offered sweets to the kids.

Purvi, a girl who is hearing and speech impaired since birth, received financial assistance under the Mukhyamantri Bal Shravan Yojana, a scheme which provided successful Cochlear implantation in 46 Indore children. Purvi is able to speak and hear after the implant.

The Chief Minister got this Indore programme inaugurated by the children themselves.


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18th-century St. John’s Church in Kolkata hosts Heritage Walk for Hearing-impaired

St John's Church, Wikimedia

Kolkata, March 27, 2017: Sunshine on their shoulders, 30 bright young minds, notwithstanding their hearing-impairment, ambled up to the late 18th-century St. John’s Church here on Monday, soaking in the history of the structure through sign-language in a unique heritage walk.

Rukhsana and her schoolmates from the city-based Ideal School For the Deaf, looked up in awe at the artwork around the church as their teachers explained its 230-year-old history through sign-language as part of the heritage walk for the hearing-impaired.

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“The idea is to showcase the inclusivity of heritage structures. Heritage is meant for all and should be inclusive. Disabilities shouldn’t be a barrier to access and experience heritage,” Tathagata, archaeologist and co-founder of Heritage Walk Calcutta, told IANS about the initiative.

The event was curated and executed by the company in collaboration with the school under the Go Unesco ‘Make Heritage Fun’ umbrella.

Armed with special kits and visual aids (pictures of old Calcutta and the church, dates), the students from Classes 6 to 9, were taken around the church grounds, located smack in the middle of the city at Dalhousie.

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As Tathagata elaborated about the “Black Hole of Calcutta” and Job Charnock’s mausoleum, teacher Swati communicated the data through sign-language.

Charnock, a British trader, was considered to be the founder of Kolkata but in 2003 the Calcutta High Court ruled against it, saying Kolkata’s existence is older than Charnock’s landing.

The young visitors were particularly drawn to the 10 ft x 12 ft painting “The Last Supper” by German neo-classical painter Johann Zoffany, housed inside the church. They eagerly fired a volley of questions for their teachers and responded with hand gestures as they registered the fresh information.

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“Our favourite thing about the church is the painting. We love the ambience. It is our first heritage walk and we want to do it again,” Rukhsana and her classmates told IANS through sign-language that was translated by Swati.

To follow up on the walk, the students will be asked to interpret the church in their own way through paintings.

“The challenge is to simplify things for them. We have to break down the history and filter it down to the essentials so it is easy for them to absorb. The heritage walk and the paintings that they will later draw will help them retain the memory and the information they processed,” added Swati. (IANS)