Ashmita Roy, Modern High School for Girls, Class VIII – Winner!

Imagine… You wake up to find the alarm clock vibrating madly but hear…nothing. The familiar sounds of the whirring geyser, the cook humming as she prepares your tiffin, grandma softly chanting the morning prayers… You have known them forever but they aren’t there. A silent world.

According to the dictionary, deafness is “the condition of being unable to hear.”

In mainstream society we tend to look upon deafness as a defect, we applaud those who success in the hearing world for overcoming a severe handicap. We have a propensity to assume that all deaf people will try to lip-read, and admire those who use their voices to show us how far they have come from the grips of their disability. Pitying looks, hypocritical ‘concerned’ eyes and ‘understanding’ smiles seem the right thing to do.

Well, that’s where we are wrong – our role is not to give the deaf a voice, it is to make sure that the voice already present is, not only heard but listened to. To accept them as our fellow men, into our world and to lend a patient ear; of a friend.

Many deaf people have achieved prominence that greatly exceeds others, the most renowned being deaf-blind American author, Helen Keller, others include composer Ludwig van Beethoven and Thomas Edison, inventor. Their’s may been an only visual world, but just think, a man unable to hear is responsible for the light shining in our homes today.

They were deaf too, so what?

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