New Delhi, Aug. 25 -- Hearing and speech impaired since birth, 16-year-old Om Negi, a resident of Ghaziabad, cleared Class 10 last year from a local school for the deaf. But a certificate aside, he believes the school did not prepare him for much else. "It was difficult for me to grasp what the teachers were teaching as they did not know sign language that well," Negi told HT through a sign language interpreter.

Negi is now attending remedial classes, along with around 50 others, in Math and English at the Noida Deaf Society, an NGO.

Of the 2 million deaf children in the country, a vast majority drops out only after attending primary school, as oralism, and not sign language, dominates classroom lessons in most such schools. Uttam Tiwari,...