Jammu: Directorate Of School Education Jammu celebrated the International Day of Sign Languages by conducting a series of events including webinars, sessions, elocutions, debates, skits and physical demonstrations etc. by experts in schools and offices across all the 10 districts of Jammu division, with the aim of supporting and protects the linguistic identity of people who are deaf along with other users of sign languages.
The day was observed in order to acknowledge the necessity of early access to sign language and various services in sign language like quality education which is vital to the development and all round growth of deaf children.
The Students were made aware about the importance and need of sign languages by resource persons ranging from language experts and psychologists to educators through various programmes organized under the supervision of respective Chief Education Officers at district level while at the divisional level the Directorate organised a webinar through it Councelling Cell – ‘Cued Languge : Let’s Understand It’s.
Anita Kumari Pandoh (Inclusive Education) and Neelam Sharma (School for Hearing Impaired) were the chief resource persons for the webinar and Dr. Ravi Shankar Sharma, Director School Education Jammu was the chief guest.
In his message, Dr. Ravi Shankar Sharma appreciated the efforts of the teaching community and other officials of the Directorate for rising up to the occasion despite pandemic restrictions and organising events at such a large scale covering schools and students across the division. Dwelling on the significance of the day, he said that this year’s theme as declared by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) was ‘We Sign For Human Rights’. In the spirit of this theme, it was only imperative for all of us to join hands in creating awareness to promote the recognition of one’s right to use sign languages in all areas of life. Sign languages are equal in status, importance and usage to spoken languages and obligates us all, deaf and hearing, to facilitate the learning of sign languages so as to promote the basic right to linguistic identity of the deaf community, he added.
Resource persons, Anita Kumari Pandoh and Ms. Neelam Sharma threw light on the subject in detail to reach out to the students discussing the finer aspects of observing the day and the significance of sign languages in Friday’s day and age when we have over 70 million deaf people across the globe.
They discussed various difficulties faced by the deaf and dumb children and shared tips for parents and teachers of such children. They also demonstrated the basic sign language alphabets to familiarize the participants with the basics and enriched everyone about the eight handshakes used. They further suggested that the parents, teachers and students need not sympathize with them but empathize. A willing mind and a bit of an effort from us could bring a sea of change in the lives of such specially abled children.
Dr. Romesh Kumar, Head Counselling Cell presented the welcome address and formal vote of thanks assuring everyone that such events will be organized in future as well for the betterment of the students while Alka Sharma conducted the proceedings of the webinar.