Little Loretians Learning to Finger Spell the Alphabet
Little Vani, the mascot of VAANI, Deaf Children’s Foundation, met 400 students of Loreto Day School Sealdah to tell them about childhood deafness and to sensitise the participants to the cause of children who are deaf.
The session was conducted by Atreyee Kar, Resource Management Officer at VAANI and she took the children through the journey of discovering the challenges faced by deaf children through examples that the students could relate to. The participants, comprising of students of Class V to Class X, were asked to imagine a life without music, a life where the only sound that exists is the sound of silence. They were asked to do a simple exercise of plugging their ears for a few seconds while Atreyee spoke to them softly. When asked how it feels, the response from the majority was, “it is frustrating to know someone is talking to you and not being able to hear what is being said!”
Sundeep Kothari, Training Assistant of VAANI and a deaf role model as well, performed a mime about a child who wanted a balloon but did not have the money to buy it. The mime was an instant hit with the children and drove home the truth that the deaf just communicate differently, they think, they feel the need to connect, they emote – all they lack is the ability to hear, and that is what makes them different.
The awareness workshop ended in high spirits as Sundeep taught the students how to finger spell the alphabet and there was a rush among the students to volunteer to finger spell their names. Little Vani realised that the workshop was a success when the new friends of VAANI offered to make friendship bands for the children that VAANI works with.