The first ISL video of rapper/poet Spitfire’s Vartalap from his debut 4 track EP Paathshala which released last summer is out now. The video has been translated and signed by Deaf ISL interpreter Hardeep Singh.
In his song Vartalap (which means conversation), Spitfire talks about having only one life to fulfill our wishes and open our minds and hearts to perceive beyond what is visible to the naked eye. The idea was to open up a conversation with the 10 million+ Deaf people India. The Vartalap ISL music video was created in collaboration with AccioMango – a community-based start-up, managed and operated by Deaf professionals and founded by deaf expert Dr Alim Chandani. It advocates and aims to create equal opportunities for the Indian Deaf Community in compliance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016. Dr. Alim Chandani is also the CEO of Access Mantra Foundation (AMF), a non-profit organization that aims to create awareness among the Deaf community for information that is not easily accessible to them.
For the song Vartalap, Dr. Alim Chandani appointed Deaf signer Hardeep Singh who studied Spitfire’s lyrics for days to translate it in ISL."When I had the opportunity to interpret Spitfire’s lyrics for Vartalap, I could relate on multiple levels with his emotions and thoughts in this song. When I was interpreting this song, I immensely felt connected to it. Vartalap means “important conversation” and as a Deaf person myself, I have experienced the struggles of having valuable conversation and conveying my thoughts and feelings to people. Two things that I value the most in my life are music and arts. Without these two essential needs, my life would have no meaning. We are now using music as a way to spread messages, and I feel people would listen more and become more empathetic to our needs.”
IncInk co-founder Ranveer Singh adds, “We created IncInk as a platform to promote inclusivity through art, hence the name ‘IncInk’. Through our latest endeavour, we’re lending support to the cause of making Indian Sign Language the 23rd official language of India. I will be signing the official petition filed by National Association of the Deaf (NAD) India with support from the ‘Access Mantra Foundation’, who are working tirelessly to make this a reality. I urge my fellow Indians to join this cause and give it momentum by building awareness about it. We are also releasing our first sign language video on Spitfire’s track ‘Vartalap’ with the hope that the track will trigger more conversations on the issue.”
IncInk co-founder Navzar Eranee further asserts, “ Acceptance and access leads to independence. Independence and empowerment leads to technology and advancement. It's a long road from interpretation, to feeling music and then to hearing it. Technology all over the world is aiding people transcend such limitations. This is a start, in a small way a big step.”
The entire country today is at somewhat of a standstill, supporting the measures taken by the Government to combat COVID-19. However, the Deaf community still does not have easy access to information and guidelines and relies on near and dear ones for basic information. If ISL was an official language, this would have significantly helped the Deaf community in dealing with this crisis, the way the rest of India is