Gestures Full of Emotion

Eleven-year-old Rohit is a playful child who loves to study as well as play games with his friends from school. He comes to the VAANI resource center in Gobra Club, Ward 59, Kolkata.

The Centre serves as a platform for children like Rohit and their families across the slums of Kolkata, to be heard.

Rohit and was identified as being profoundly deaf   at a very young age. His mother, being the sole earning member of the family, did not quite know how to handle the situation.

Rohit studies at the Calcutta Deaf and Dumb School (CDDS) and now reads in Prep IV.  His mother, Lajma, heard about VAANI from an acquaintance at the school.

Lajma was very happy to know about VAANI. She drops Rohit to the center every day and his learning is reinforced on all the concepts taught at school.

I met Rohit at the VAANI centre, in the course of my internship with the NGO. Amazingly, I had no problem in understanding Rohit’s gestures as he told me about his hopes, and aspirations.

He wants to become a pilot and aims to study further. He says that his mother works very hard for him and he would like to support her.

When he first arrived at the VAANI Centre year ago, he could only count till twenty, do additions but not subtraction and could not read properly. He could copy and write and identify photographs.

Today at the Center, he can count till one hundred, add, subtract, divide, multiply and read and write as well as pronounce some words too!

This has only been possible because of VAANI intervention, Rohit’s willingness to study and overcome his disability, and his mother’s support.

–Komal Sheth, Intern (Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, UG, Pune)

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