World Deaf Day 2006 – First Deaf Rally ever in India

Several special days have been marked in our calendar namely Teachers' Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Independence Day, etc. but has anyone in India every thought of marking the World Deaf Day like the other countries (like USA, UK, Sweden, etc.) do? Alas, the answer is no. There is no such a special day as World Deaf Day on any of Indian calendar.

Thus, Mr.Alok Kumar Kejriwal, Mr.Sunil Sahasrabudhe and I (Mr.Aqil Chinoy) planned the date 24th September as India's first World Deaf Day when all the deaf people walked out from darkness of ignorance and told the whole India via media that there SHOULD be a World Deaf Day in India.

For thie first time in India on the World Deaf Day, the Deaf Rally consisiting of few celebrities and around 800 Deaf people from several Deaf Schools and Associations attracted the Media as they marched peacefully holding the banners and slogans. There was a sensational feelings in the heart of the deaf people as they walked side by side, made new friends and communicated through Signs, their own natural language.

I, along with the Committee members of India Deaf Expo, wish to express our thanks to the following celebrities, sponsors, schools, association and all Deaf people for their active participation in the Deaf Rally.

Celebrities
Ms. Shaina NC Fashion Designer & Social Worker
Mr. Prahlad Kakkar Advertising Person
Mr. Ashok Pandit Activitst & Film Director
Mr. Anil Dharker Author & Social Activist
Sponsors

Percept Profile

Banners, Badges & Media Coverage
Parle Bisleri Pvt. Ltd. Mineral Water
Colaba Police Station Traffic Clearance & Security
Deaf Schools

The Stephen High School for Deaf & Aphasic - Dadar

Bombay Institution for Deaf & Mutes - Mazgaon
Pragati Vidyalaya for Deaf - Dadar
Nair Hospital School for Deaf - Grant Road
Sanskardham School for Hearing Impaired - Goregaon
Save the Children - Special Care Centre - Bandra
Vikas Vidyalaya for Hearing Handicapped - Dadar
Deaf Associations
India Deaf Society - Mumbai
Bombay Foundation of Deaf Women, Mumbai
Maharashtra Deaf Pride, Mumbai
Ishara Foundation, Mumbai
India Center for Human Rights & Laws (Hearing NGO), Mumbai
Navratri Navyuvak Mandal for the Deaf, Mumbai
Deaf Leader, Coimbatore

Raageshwari visits Stephen High School for the Deaf

Ms.Raageshwari, the Brand Ambassador of India Deaf Expo brought joys in the hearts of several Deaf students when she visited their school on September 5th 2006, the Teachers' Day.

Accompanied by Mr.Alok Kumar Kejriwal (Co-Chairman), Mr.Aqil Chinoy & Mr.Sunil Sahasrabudhe (Convenors), Bro.T.V.Joseph the Principal of Stephen School, Interpreters and Media people, she visited each classroom, interacted with every student and talked to teachers.

Although sign language is not encouraged in this school, yet when all deaf children speak each other, they keep signing naturally. That clearly shows that the deaf child, consciously or not, is tempted to use sign language for establishing optimal communication to the maximum extent of his expression and feelings because of its visual accessibility. Thus, Ms.Raageshwari encouraged the teachers to teach the students through the sign language as the means of communication besides oral.

There was also a cake-cutting ceremony where Ms.Raageshwari, surrounded by all the students, blew the candles, cut the cake and helped each other with pieces of cake. There were short wonderful dances by the students that impressed everyone. Afterwards, she bid farewell to the Principal, teachers and students before her leave.