India is set to celebrate its 70th Independence Day this week and the government is busy in preparations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech is being written, the security in the national capital has been beefed up, Red Fort was washed on Thursday evening and the Union Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey also launched a new video of the National Anthem in sign language. The video was launched by the government on Thursday evening and Pandey called it a proud moment.
“This is a proud moment for us that the National Anthem has been produced in sign language for those who depend on it. We used to refer to people falling in the category as disabled (viklang), but now the government has modified the definition to divyang,” the Minister of State for Human Resource Development was quoted saying by PTI. At the launch, he also said that the government has referred to the physically challenged as divyang and not viklang to ensure that there was no distinction.
The 3-minute 35-second long video features Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan along with some physically challenged children performing the national anthem in sign language with the Red Fort in the background. The video was directed by Govind Nihalani who is also the brother of current Director of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Pahlaj Nihalani.
Watch the video here:
The video launch event in New Delhi was attended by United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan Director Derek Segaar and BJP National Spokesperson Sudesh Verma. “This is one of the efforts made to make their survival easier. India is an ancient country and sign language has been used since ancient times,” Mahendra Nath said at the event. Similar events were also held in Goa, Bhopal, Chandigarh and Kolhapur to launch the video.