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Large and diverse with distinct regional cultures, India has over 120 major languages. Of those, 22 are officially recognized by the country's constitution. In 2023, Axis Bank wants the government to add a 23rd tongue: Indian Sign Language.
Axis — one of India's largest private sector banks — worked with Grey to develop a campaign that positions Indian Sign Language as a language that Indians speak across regional borders.
As part of that mission, the bank's 'Dil Se Open/With Open Heart' series of commercials now features a sign language interpreter. According to Adobo Magazine, it's the first time an Indian brand has offered signed translations of advertising messages.
While estimates vary, millions of people in India are deaf. And lack of official recognition of Indian Sign Language is holding them back. Most teachers at schools for deaf children aren't fluent in ISL, and according to India's Association of Sign Language Interpreters, the nation counts just 500 ISL interpreters.
Whether Axis Bank's #23in23 campaign will compel legislators to act remains to be seen, but it can get the ball rolling. Consumers want brands to do more than just make profits. Whether you run a multinational with a vast audience or a tiny business with a dedicated following, how can you use your reach to be an activist for positive (legal) change?
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