“I love animals and I get extremely upset when I see a person hurting one. I guess it’s because, I feel like a helpless animal when most people are unable to understand what I say……I am deaf but I can understand what the world says… then why is it so difficult for them to understand me?” asks Tulika.
Tulika is an eight year old young girl, proud to be studying in standard II at the Upper Tepesia Prathamik Vidyalaya in Dimoria block. The third daughter of a poor farmer, Tulika underwent her first audiometric tests when she joined the project Bodhir Bikas Yojana implemented by Swabalambi(A VAANI partner) and VAANI and was found to be severely deaf. She would shy away from outsiders and preferred staying at home. Her mother would often blame herself, for giving birth to a deaf child. The CBR workers from Swabalambi began by interacting and motivating Tulika’s mother to attend awareness programmes and parents’ sessions. Having a platform to share her feelings with parents who faced similar problems helped Tulika’s mother to be more accepting of her daughter’s deafness. In turn this has helped in forging the bond between mother and daughter and helped to improve the environment at home.
“I still worry about Tulika, and whether people would understand her….but I think my daughter is much more confident now. I am grateful to the CBR workers of Swabalambi for the care they have shown for my child. Now all three of my daughters are going to school, and I am happy to see Tulika making efforts to communicate with others in school,” she says.