Saturday, December 3, 2022
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International Day of Sign Language-23 Sep, 2021
Contribution of Abhedananda Home Srinagar -for educating deaf & mute children in sign language since 1975

By M Ahmad

The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages in order to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf. It recognizes the importance of preserving sign languages as part of linguistic and cultural diversity. This day marks the birth of an advocacy organisation, which has as one of its main goals, the preservation of sign languages and deaf culture as pre-requisites to the realisation of the human rights of deaf people. Sign languages are fully fledged natural languages, structurally distinct from the spoken languagesAccording to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are more than 70 million deaf people worldwide and collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages.
Abhedananda Home at Solina, Rambagh, Srinagar, Kashmir is the oldest Institution in J&K using sign language to teach hearing & speech impaired (deaf & mute) children. It was established in 1941 as a residential home for Specially-abled children by Sawami Abhedananda to provide vocational training to Specially-abled persons. The training was imparted in making cane chair, candles etc and also in music but as of now it is the only Higher Secondary Institution in J&K for Speech & Hearing Impaired (Deaf & Mute) and Visually Impaired (Blind) children. The Institution now offer free of charges, formal and vocational education to nearly 100 deaf & Mute children from Nursery to class 12th. It stands affiliated with J&K Board of School Education, Srinagar. Besides it provide vocational education in Computer, Music, Art & Drawing, Painting and Cutting & Tailoring.

From old & simple class rooms to smart room, the institution is equiped with Group Speech lab , Computer Lab, Vocational training Lab for deaf & mute children and as of now water purifiers and modern type wash rooms are available there for better health care of these children.

The Institution has created hundrerds of passouts of class 10th, 11th and 12th with flying clours achiving distinctions. A good number of passouts have been provided jobs in Private, Public and Goverment Departments and Financial Institutions.
Not only in academics, the institution has produced best deaf & mute players and artists in games and sports and art and drawing. The players and the artists were felicitated by the Honb'le Justice Ali Mohammad Magray, District Commissioner Srinagar and District Social Welfare Officer, Srinagar at various events endorsing there achivements. Some of the deaf children have played at National & International Level.

For the welfare of deaf & mute children, the University of Kashmir and USHA International Ltd is operating vocational courses at this Institution, free of cost for the students of the Institution as well as other children of the vicinity. The courses are of 03 months duration in “Cutting & Tailoring”, “Computer Basics” and “Tally”. These courses are offereed to make these children skilled for their future process of life.

The Institution is now & then visited by various Officers and other office bearers from J&K Administration, CRC, Police, CRPF, Army and NCC and provide assistance whatever required by the Institution.

The Institution was taken over by the Government vide Government order No 161 of 2018 and subsequently DSWK took the charge of the Institution. The Institution is waiting for concrete steps to be taken by the Social Welfare Department for the welfare of students and the staff working there to make it a Model Institution for Specially-abled children espacially for deaf & mute.
Sign language is the noblest blessing God has given to hard of hearing individuals. Why not learn this language and spread love.

{The Writer is a Principal (I/C), Abhedananda Home- Higher Secondary Institution for Specially-abled Children, Solina, Rambagh, Srinagar, J&K email: [email protected]}

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