Shah Rukh Khan’s latest movie Zero is a big disappointment to the people with disabilities.
Alim Chandani is a disability rights activist for the hearing impaired. He said that if he would have gone for Shah Rukh Khan’s new movie Zero, he would have had to walk out within minutes. The movie did not have english subtitles due to which he would not have understood a word of the movie.
Shah Rukh is playing a character with dwarfism and Anushka Sharma plays a woman with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair. When he saw the trailer of the movie he was very excited. He thought since the movie is about people with disabilities, the movie would be sensitive about the needs of the people with disabilities.
He said that it is very sad that bollywood makes movies about people with disabilities, but they fail to actually include the disabled community by providing services to include them. It seems that film industry are getting marketing benefits by using people with disabilities as object of sensitivity without the intention of supporting them.
After he observed that many bollywood movies like Padmavat and Hitchki did not have english subtitles, he created a survey in written english as well as Indian Sign Language. He received 4,000 responses from both deaf and non-deaf persons.
84% of the community agreed that production houses must provide subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing community. They also said that, these subtitles will help the hearing community understand the dialogue better and improve their vocab skills.
The People with Disabilities Act 2016 states that, “persons with disabilities have access to electronic media by providing audio description, sign language interpretation, and closed captioning”
Watching a movie without any barriers is a fundamental right and this issue needs to be fixed.