Pushing for more recognition and resources, disabilities advocates in India have filed litigation to make Indian Sign Language the country’s 23rd official language, Devex reports.
Many deaf children in India do not learn sign language because of the stigma attached to deafness.
A court has ordered the government to respond within a month on whether it supports the measure. The litigation will be heard next March and is likely to be passed if the government does not oppose it.
Many parents are advised not to allow their children to learn sign language in the mistaken belief that it will encourage them not to talk.
“Once the language gets officially recognized, the government [will] be forced to work on creating an infrastructure for it, whatever the cost and effort,” said Nipun Malhotra, an activist and co-founder of the Nipman Foundation, which filed the court petition.