Now lakhs of Indians with hearing disability will have access to a mobile dictionary in Indian Sign Language (ISL). Initiated by two youths in Vadodara – Rajesh Ketkar, himself 100 percent hearing impaired, and his friend Virbhadrasinh Rathod, this dictionary will enable the disabled person to have an image picture word with video-graphed sign language, all on the screen of his mobile.
The seeds of this idea were germinated in the minds of these youths when they attended a conference by the World Federation for Deaf in Madrid last year. Depariti Basu reports their story in this article in Indian Express:
“There were deaf people from across the world and we were amazed to see their confidence level. In India people still look at the deaf with sympathy unlike in other countries. There they ask for ‘professional assistance’ and not ‘help.’ We were exposed to their technology which is not used anywhere in India or even in any other Asian country,” Ketkar said through an interpreter.
The two also run an NGO called Mook Badhir Mandal in Vadodara, for the hearing impaired. All this inspite of just having received education till class X, which is provided by the government, after which Ketkar took up vocational training in tailoring. Once again it is proved that education is not really a barrier for a firm determination and a will to succeed. Kudos to these youngsters who have taught us a lot.
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