Weddings are a noisy affair. The sound of shehnai and dhol, the clamour of people, the clanging of plates and in case of Bengali households, the sound of ‘ulu‘ are tell-tale accompaniments of nuptials. A wedding at Kolkata’s New Barrackpore, however, had none of that. Or even if it did, the bride and groom and many of the guests did not hear it.
That’s because the couple – 40-year-old Sumanta Ghosh and 38-year-old Paromita Ghosh – were both deaf and mute, as were many of the 60-odd guests at the wedding. Present at the wedding was sign language expert Rajani Banerjee who interpreted the wedding mantras for the couple and their guests.
The wedding took place on Tuesday evening and though the ceremony took a little longer than usual ceremonies, the bride and groom were satisfied with the results as each and every mantra was interpreted to them by Banerjee.
Banerjee is the daughter of Rameshwar Banerjee who retired as the head teacher’s position in Calcutta Deaf & Dumb School in Rajabazar, Bangla daily Anandabazar Patrika reported.
Several disability rights activists across the country have for years sought a greater recognition of ‘Indian Sign Language’ (ISL) within the country’s education curriculum as well as in culture.
To help deaf and mute people communicate better, the Indian Sign Language Research And Training Centre in Delhi in 2018 created the first edition of the ISL dictionary that consisted of 3,000 ISL words. The first of its kind dictionary was revamped in March 2019 with the second edition containing as many as 6,000 words.