Maybe it’s the ‘Hearing’ who are impaired ...
India arguably has the largest deaf population in the world, but it is said that the number of certified interpreters are 250 for around 18 million deaf people! Sign language is still not an officially recognized language by the government. The country has no captions on television, no instructions for deaf people at public places, no TTY, no instruction through sign language in deaf schools and no deaf college or a university for deaf people.
Beyond Silence is a documentary made with an intention of understanding these hidden voices in their own “words, language, and culture.” It is a humble attempt to acknowledge the existence of a living, competent, and thinking deaf community that has the ability to communicate “beyond silence.” The film is a celebration of deafness. It tries to explore and bring about a strong emotion of self-confidence and belief among deaf people. The film nowhere depicts the lives of deaf people as people with disabilities, on the contrary it questions and argues about concepts and ideas about 'being handicapped’.
I hope the exhibition of this documentary helps deaf community in India to strengthen their fight for their basic rights, like the recognition and adoption of sign language in schools and in the community at large; awareness about deaf culture and motivating the entertainment media in the country to adopt captioning.