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SLIC, Socio-Legal Information Center.
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Govt of India to create the position of sign language interpreters in public services

Date : 24/11/2011

HRLN in year 2010 on behalf of The National Association of The Deaf filed a public interest petition (Writ Petition Civil No. 6250 of 2010) in Delhi High Court on the issue of non-availability of sign language interpreters in public services .

Government in its reply admitted that there are approximately one million persons with onset of deafness in early childhood and that the sizable number of sign language dependant deaf children and adults face hardship due to non-availability of Indian sign language Interpreters and such inadequacy causes difficulty in accessing public services such as education, communication, health and transport etc.

HRLN Advocate Pankaj Sinha argued that there are approximately 63 million hearing impaired people living in India, of whom at least 25 million will use sign languages and demanded that Government should create posts of Sign Language Interpreters so that the same becomes part of establishment and also lead to the growth of profession of Sign Language Interpreters.

Appreciating the response of Government, Hon ble Court described this case as a non-adversarial litigation. However the Court remarked that in spite of having the will, Government has been lacking in direction and has gave direction to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to appoint a Nodal person to coordinate the entire process of survey, coordination with University Grant Commission and other ministries/ departments , preparation of report, creation of posts and to fill such posts and for this Hon ble Court has laid down a time frame and has kept the case for further hearing on 30.05.2012 to ensure compliance of its order.


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