Where am I? I am in Bhopal. Why have so many Deaf people come for this programme? What is it about? It is about the India Central Government Employement of Deaf Association. How is it related to the Central government? In this programme, only Deaf people from all over India working with the central government can participate. This programme is held every year and lot of people attend. In the program people discuss about doubts, knowledge, laws, etc. An election for new Board members was held today. The programme is for 4 days and it started from yesterday, which is 12th November to 15th November. Today Mrs R. Gayathi from Delhi, is giving a detailed lecture on the RPWD Act and the rules regarding reservation for central goverment jobs. Participants are very excited and asking many questions. How interesting! These are people working in the Railways, Central Government, Military etc. They have retired at the age of 60 and are being awarded. I am so happy and proud to see that they worked so hard and retired. I applaud & cheer them! I work in Kolkata’s postal service. This is Sanjay Soni -sign name- and he is the executive member of AICGEDA. He is Saju Stephen -sign name- and he is the coordinator of the programme. Interesting! I am going to question them. Since how many years have you been the AICGEDA’s executive member? I have been here for 8 years. 8 years!! I was elected twice. Since I have been invovled, slowly there are changes in government. We would discuss the problems. Once we agreed we gave gave our demands to the Delhi government. They then made many changes such as TA, which we announced. Earlier disabled people like the Blind would receive benefits but not the Deaf. The Government never accepted us. Now due to our advocacy we succesfully got equal benefits. The empolyees then realised that Deaf are people with disabilities just like the Blind. Why did you host this programme for the Deaf Central Government employees in Bhopal? Earlier I would invite many sports associations and other associations to conduct programmes. Connected to my own job the Central Government had many workshops. When I went to Delhi I saw that these workshops had interpreters. This was all because of AICGEDA’s advocacy. Thats why I accepted to host because I receieved accessibility due to them. This is why I invited them to Bhopal. I invite associations only if they are beneficial. If they aren’t then I do not invite them. I invited them to talk about employement provisions of the RPWD Act and not the general points. For example, how people can get promotion, about how employers make them work long hours when there are special working hours for people with disabilities and you can see that so many Deaf have come today. They have received special leave and have not used their own leaves. Why did they get special leave? It is because of AICGEDA. Great! What were the beneficial points discussed? RPWD lecture was about how Deaf employees are denied promotion when the Act states they must receive promotion every 5 years. Hearing employees get promotion. Deaf people can get promotion by filling a form but they do not understand its meaning. The government keeps launching projects. But Deaf employees ignore all this and remain in the same post. When a new project comes they must immediately fill the form and get promoted. We teach them this so they understand. That’s great! All central government employees must be a part of this association so that they can learn and benefit. Thanks to you both. Today’s date is 14th November. Why have the Central Government employees gathered here? Today is the General Body Meeting, where they will talk about their past work. New Board members will be elected as well. Look at the new Board members. The AICGEDA has elected their new Board members! Congratulations! Who is the President of the AICGEDA? It is him. D.R.R. Swamy – sign name. He is working in the Central Government’s Military and he is from Hyderabad. I am very excited to say that the President has achieved three things. I want you to explain these three points. Namaste! Thank you! The AICGEDA was founded by me and I worked to develop it for you all. 1. We advocated against transfers. When employees faced any problems we were successful in stopping their transfers. 2. Unequal TA (Travel Allowance). The SC caste received TA but not the other category. We then advocated for this and managed to secure equality. 3. Hospitals have three shifts and Deaf are oppressed. They suffer and work in the night shift. We ask them if they filed a complaint and ask for a proof. Once we see the proof, the AICGEDA then works and then complains to the government. Hospitals then accept and Deaf employees are happy. This is our third achievement. We are still advocating for the fourth. Now in the next 8 months I am retiring. I hope they are successful. Thank You. The President has worked hard and is successful. Elections for the next President are going on. I hope the second President keeps advocating just like him and prevents the sufferings of Deaf individuals. Thank you. This is S.Murugan. He is the General Secretary of the AICGEDA. He has worked as the General Secretary for 9 years. Now he won the elections and has been reelected as the General Secretary. Congratulations. For the last 9 years he successfully wrote letters, advocated and help the Deaf employees of the Central Government. We hope he continues doing the same and helps everyone. My question to you is, there are training and awareness programmes for the Central government employees. Is it mandatory for it to be held every year. Yes it must be held every year because they do not understand and hearing interpreters will explain. Every year AICGEDA will keep conducted such programmes. Why waste those 10 special leaves instead they must use it and attend the programme. If Central Government employees have any doubts they can approach this association as it is very useful for the future. Thank You!