13 Differently-abled Students From India Learn New 'Sign Language' in Singapore
Singapore: Thirteen differently-abled students from India have learnt new sign languages during their first international trip on a course held in Singapore by a deaf association here.
The differently-abled students from Kanpur-based Divyang Development Society (DDS) learned new sign language from their first-ever international orientation-course held at Singapore Association of Deaf (SADF), a six-decade old state-funded institution which is a member of the World Federation of the Deaf.
"The students learned new sign language at the SADF through a talk show in sign language," said Dr Anamika Gupta, an Indian origin Singapore permanent residence who co-founded the Differently-Abled Talent Learning Programme (DATLP).
The DDS students, along with 15 differently-abled students from Singapore, also learned the value of every drop of water at the NeWater, a facility of Singapore Public Utilities Board for processing reclaimed water, said Gupta.
The students were in Singapore under a two-month old MoU signed by the DDS with AIMS Global Pte Ltd, a Gupta-Dr Pallavi Agarwal's Singapore-based edutour start-up specialising in tailor-made programmes for the requirements of specific target groups.
The Indian-origin duo hopes to host the AIMS Global-run DATLP at least four times a year for physically challenged youths as a service to the communities both in Singapore and India.
"Whatever we have learned from Singapore will be shared back at the DDS and other seniors in authority so we can skill these children who have not ever spoken a word but do have something special in them that needs that to be developed," said DDS Secretary Manpreet Kaur Kalra who mentors the students.
The programme has enriched their knowledge, learning from Singapore experiences and interaction in a multi-racial society, said Kalra.
The DDS has already won recognition at home with awards from the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Governor in recent years.
Kalra believes that more should be done for the differently abled as they have something special in them which can be developed and help them be self-dependent and even create jobs or skill others.
Given the encouraging support DDS students have received on their first international visit, Kalra hopes state funding such as grants and sponsorships through corporate social responsibility-type support would create opportunities for such students to skill themselves and mentors others with physical challenges in New India.