In 2019, Ranveer Singh and Navzar Eranee's record label IncInk's artist Spitfire performed Vartalap (meaning conversation) with an Indian sign language (ISL) interpreter on prime television. It was a one-of-its-kind music performance on national TV and in 2020, the team pledged its support for a unique online petition -- to include ISL as a part of the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution.
Continuing the efforts and spreading awareness about the struggles of persons with hearing disabilities, the record label launched five videos with sign language as the star. Titled Mohabbat, Sangeet, Black, Aur Karo, and Vichaar, the new set of songs are now available on its YouTube page along with a previous collection of three videos Vartalap, Shwapon, and Mehfil-E-HipHop.
All the music videos are a work of creative labor by artists Kaam Bhaari, Spitfire, SlowCheeta, Devil the Rhymer, Rākhis, Kiss Nuka, Zanuski and have been interpreted and worked on by ISL signers at Hear a Million.
In the newest videos, while the songs run in the background, ISL signers Muskan Bhatia, Manju SK, Hardeep Singh perform it through the sign language for persons with hearing impairment.
According to the online petition that has more than 70000 signatures so far, there are 18 million deaf people in India with Indian Sign Language as their first language. However, most deaf people have not had access to learn proper sign language. They are the least educated and least employed among the sensory disabled people in the country. This is because of a lack of access to basic language and communication skills.
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities makes it clear that sign language should be given equal status as other spoken languages. It is the right of deaf people to access information in sign language.
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 provides for - sign language as a mode of communication, having sign language teachers in educational institutions, sign language interpretations in media, among others.