India’s first sign language dictionary to be launched soon

In a bid to bring uniformity in sign languages, the government is soon going to launch country’s first-of-its-kind sign language dictionary.  The sign language is used by hearing and speech impaired people to communicate with others.

Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) is developing the dictionary. So far, ISLRTC has compiled 6,032 Hindi and English words and their corresponding graphic representation of the signs which are used in daily life. The dictionary is being developed in both print and video format.

“A comprehensive Indian Sign Language Dictionary is the need of the hour to facilitate communication between the hearing and speech impaired and create a basic database for further policy making,” Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said.

At the inauguration of “Empowering Deaf through Indian Sign Language”, a two-day national conference, the minister said, “Presently, the sign languages in a diverse country like India vary from region to region. Because of this, people from a region face difficulty in communicating with those in the other region”.

This dictionary will help bridge the communication gap, Gehlot said.

According to Awanish K Awasthi, joint secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the dictionary will help around 50 lakh hearing impaired and 20 lakh speech impaired people in the country to get an uniform language.

“It will contain graphic representations of popular signs used by the hearing impaired and will also include regional variations. Apart from that, it will have legal, technical and medical terms,” Awasthi said.

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