Sarah Sunny: India’s First Deaf Lawyer Makes History in Supreme Court
Last week, Sarah Sunny achieved a historic milestone by becoming India’s first deaf lawyer to argue in the country’s Supreme Court. The 27-year-old’s presence in the court is seen as a step towards making the Indian legal system more inclusive and accommodating for the deaf community. Despite facing challenges and stereotypes, Sunny’s determination and perseverance have paved the way for other deaf students to pursue a career in law.
1. Breaking Stereotypes and Making History:
a. Sarah Sunny’s appearance in the Supreme Court marks a significant moment for inclusivity in the Indian legal system.
b. With the assistance of a sign language interpreter, Sunny argued her case before Chief Justice DY Chandrachud.
c. The court appointed its own interpreter, a first in its history, to ensure Sunny’s understanding of the proceedings.
d. Observers believe that Sunny’s presence will encourage more deaf students to study law and make the legal system accessible to the deaf community.
2. Overcoming Challenges:
a. In lower courts, Sunny was not allowed to use an interpreter due to concerns about judges’ legal knowledge.
b. Instead, she submitted her arguments in writing, facing limitations in effectively presenting her case.
c. The lack of Indian sign language interpreters trained in legal terminology remains a challenge for deaf individuals in the legal field.
d. Despite these obstacles, Sunny’s determination and accomplishments inspire others to overcome stigma and pursue their dreams.
3. Support from Family and Education:
a. Sunny was born in Bengaluru, along with her deaf twin sister, Maria Sunny, and deaf brother, Pratik Kuruvilla.
b. Their parents emphasized equality and education, avoiding special schools for deaf children.
c. In school, Sunny relied on lip-reading and the support of her friends to navigate her education.
d. She went on to study law at St. Joseph’s College in Bengaluru, receiving support from her siblings and a close friend.
e. Sunny’s gratitude towards her parents’ belief in equality and education gave her the confidence to pursue her dreams.
4. The Impact of Sarah Sunny’s Achievement:
a. Deaf individuals face stigma and a lack of interpreters in courts, limiting their career opportunities in law.
b. The Delhi High Court previously allowed a deaf lawyer to appear in a case with an interpreter, setting a precedent.
c. Sunny’s historic achievement in the Supreme Court brings attention to the need for more inclusivity and accessibility in the legal system.
d. Experts believe her success will inspire and encourage other deaf individuals to pursue careers in law.
Sarah Sunny’s journey as India’s first deaf lawyer to argue in the Supreme Court is a testament to her resilience and determination. Her presence in the court contributes to a more inclusive legal system that accommodates the needs of the deaf community. By breaking stereotypes and overcoming challenges, Sunny’s achievements inspire others to follow their dreams and work towards a more inclusive society.