“Danish, chalo jaldi. Ghar jaana hai!”(Danish come quickly, we have to get back home) calls out the mother of the seven year old boy who is severely deaf and can faintly hear his mother calling out to him.
They are on their way home from the VAANI resource center in Tiljala, a slum area of Kolkata.
Middle-aged Mehrunissa comes with her son not only to enhance her communication skills but also to ‘bridge the gap between her deaf son and her family in a better way’.
In an exclusive interview with Komal Sheth, our intern, Mehrunissa shares her story on discovering her son being differently able, VAANI, Deaf Children’s Foundation and how coming to the VAANI resource centre has changed life for Danish.
Komal Sheth (KS): How did you come to know about Danish being deaf?
Mehrunissa (MN): Danish was born pre-maturely. I gave birth to him in my seventh month of pregnancy. The doctors told me this was the reason for his being born deaf. We discovered his disability when he was an infant, just ten months old..
KS: How did you come to know of VAANI?
MN: I got to know about VAANI in 2011, when Danish was already five years old! Some teachers in Danish’s school (the Calcutta Deaf & Dumb School) knew about VAANI and the work it did.
KS: Why VAANI?
MN: I had heard very positive reviews about VAANI. I approached their resource center as I was determined to do something about Danish’s inability to communicate. Inspite of wearing hearing aids Danish could not connect with us properly and let us know his needs or thoughts.
KS: What has been the change two years later?
MN: Today Danish can, converse properly, using his sign language and has also learnt mathematical concepts. He also speaks a few words clearly.
KS: What has been your impression of VAANI?
MN: Discovering VAANI was like finding a second God! It has given us, as a family, a new life line.