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Ranveer Singh: Important start to equalise playing field

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Ranveer Singh: Important start to equalise playing field

Mohar Basu

Often, it takes small but sustained measures to effect change. Ranveer Singh, over the past two years, has been highlighting the issues faced by the Deaf community. In May 2020, the actor petitioned the government to recognise Indian Sign Language (ISL) as the country's 23rd official language. His efforts seem to be bringing about a significant shift mdash the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) signed an MoU with the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) last year, to aid deaf children with educational material in sign language. Taking the plan forward, the texts mdash spread over 490 modules and designed for students from first to fifth standard mdash were uploaded on Diksha Portal of NCERT earlier this month.
Lauding the step, Singh says, 'The news of NCERT textbooks being made available digitally in ISL is a huge step forward in [creating] an inclusive society. [The fact that] our leaders have identified this movement makes me proud and hopeful for what is to come in 2022.' Textbooks for standards six to eight are expected to be converted to ISL over the next year.

Studies show that one's cognitive skills are developed in childhood, and it is necessary to provide children with educational material in accordance with their learning needs. Digital textbooks in ISL will enable deaf children to access educational resources, thus empowering them. The actor commends the National Education Policy 2020, which brought much-needed reforms for the community, among other changes. 'It is a progressive move. This is an important start to equalise the playing field for the 70 lakh-plus citizens of the Deaf community.' In September, Singh's independent record label IncInk released multiple sign-language music videos for the community. Promising to champion their cause, he adds, 'I will continue to be the loudspeaker for the community till their basic rights are granted.'

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