03-12-2017 05:42 PM | Sukhada Khandge | My Indian Dream
Ashay worked on movie ‘Chaurya’, India's first movie released in the accessible format and was enjoyed by hearing and visually impaired friends.
While working in the field of media and communication, everyone thinks of reaching masses, but hardly anyone thinks about reaching those with some physical challenge.
Meet Ashay Sahasrabuddhe, a PhD aspirant and media person who works in one of the untouched fields of media of inclusive communication.
Thinking of those who are hearing and visually impaired this young media person is making communication accessible to one and all. My Indian Dream spoke to Ashay about this unique field for which he has already started a revolution.
Tell us about inclusive communication.
Usually, when we talk about communication, it is about speaking and listening. But what it is like for people with hearing impairment and visual impairment. Inclusive communication gives a sigh of relief for these people.It is a communication which can reach to everyone. They are the most affected communities in the world who cannot access the majority of communication. Therefore inclusive communication gives a chance for all to communicate without any hindrance.
How did it interest you?
I was pursuing MA in Electronic Media from the University of Mumbai and during my second year, my HOD asked me whether I would like to do a diploma in Media & Disability Communication. The name itself sounded very interesting. I enrolled myself in the program and got introduced to the new world of inclusive communication. This is where I got to know the technical and minute details of inclusive communication and made my mind to work in the same field in future too.
As I started with a diploma I learnt a lot of new things which are very important for a section of society who is deprived of communication. In India, a lot of work needs to be done. And hence I decided to grab this opportunity and started working in this virgin space. It is something which directly impacts lives of people. And that was my inspiration to work for the betterment of some people.
Your ventures in Inclusive communication.
My startup Kintel is India's first inclusive communication agency. We produce accessible communication content as well work as consultants for communication.Kintel created an accessible version of India's first accessible film - Chaurya.It is currently working on a massive content development project for special education.
What is the status of India for People with Disability (PwDs).
We need to develop right approach. As a society, we have remained as sympathizers of PwDs. And have failed to make their lives better. And that's the reason why we lack systems which make their lives better.
Communication is a highly neglected area for PwDs. They are humans like you and me and they deserve to enjoy communication in a format that they can access. Slowly awareness is growing in society. But what we need is empathy and not sympathy.
Tell us about your experience while working for Chaurya movie.
Chaurya is India's first accessible film which got produced and released in an accessible format in cinema halls. Thanks to Nilesh Navlakha, producer of the film who took this brave step to produce Chaurya in an accessible format. It was just a beginning of the revolution. We received a tremendous encouraging response from our blind and deaf friends who could enjoy the film without anybody's help. They felt independent. That was the biggest achievement of Chaurya. I as a director of the accessible format of Chaurya cannot word that moment when my blind and deaf friends gave thumbs up to our work. It was one of the most memorable days of my life.
Your future goals.
A lot of work is required for generating awareness. Hence my focus, for the time being, is to make people aware of inclusive communication and how it can lead to an inclusive society. And as awareness will increase it will reflecting in more work for PwDs in communication. The deaf community is in the worst state among other disabilities. Their disability is not visible to us and hence we don't recognise. That is why highest attention needs to be paid to their requirements. On the other hand, communication is becoming more and more visual in nature and hence it will be highly inaccessible to blind people. Taking all these things into consideration, we need to work on inclusive communication. We need to reach each and every human being in the society while communicating and more work on inclusive communication is the only option to overcome this rift of communication.