Dr. Madan M. Vasishta : A Deaf Role Model
October 16, 2019
Today we will talk about Deaf Role Model. And this is the sign name of it. One of the most legendary figure for the deaf in India is Dr. Madan Vasishta. The research work in Indian Sign Language pioneered by him in 1978, when no one had any idea that Indian Sign Language even existed. His research proved that despite all the challenges, stigma and the opression, Indian Sign Language reverberated in hostels, dining halls, playgrounds and in the deaf schools in India which was discovered by Dr. Madan Vasishta that sign language is used everywhere. In India, he published the first Indian Sign Language dictionary in 1981. He is well known in the deaf community for his two beautiful memoirs The first one is ”Deaf in Delhi” and the other one is ”Deaf in DC”. You may think of him as a serious academician but on the contrary he has an outstanding memory, an amazing sense of humour and an ability to charm in a single meeting. Dr. Madan Vasishta was born in Himachal Pradesh in a village called Gagret. He was born hearing then due to a bout of mumps and typhoid which affected his ears and he became deaf at the age of 11. He was a brilliant student. Though his parents and society were ill-equipped to teach him, he was unstoppable. He taught himself reading while he worked on the farm for 10 years, since the school could not offered him much. At the age of 20, he received a scholarship to a Photography School for the Deaf where he discovered the deaf community and he learned Indian Sign Language There he met the other deaf people and saw them signing. He couldn’t believe that two people could communicate by moving their hands around. And within a week he was signing fairly well. Once he met a deaf American woman and learned about the Gallaudet University and he found it interesting. And then he found scholarship money and applied to the Gallaudet University. After completing his college education he was working there as an American professor. He earned B.A in History and Psychology, M.A in Deaf Education, and Ph.D in Special Education Administration from Gallaudet University and later he worked as a teacher, principal, researcher, program evaluator and administrator in various schools for the Deaf. He has authored six books and at national and international conferences he has made over 50 presentations. He is currently involved in various deafness related projects in India and also working on his new books. At one time by his brother, he was encouraged to apply for a government job At first he refused but later on he did apply for the job. There were many hearing people applied for the same job. Then he was asked for the interview there he found 80 people competing for that job. Interview started and at last after completing the interview, He was surprised that he got the job. There he learned that he was better than those 80 hearing people. This changed his attitude towards deafness. Deaf people can do anything equally as the other people. They can compete with hearing people if they work hard and have confidence in themselves.