Dreams do not have any demands they only need a heart full of dedication to fullfil them. There are many who have that dedication but do not get the opportunity to full fill their dreams.
Rameez Aalam is a big fan of the famous Indian cricket player Mahenra Singh Dhoni aspires to become a cricketer like him. He is a student of class 8 in the Ashadeep Rehabilitation Center for the Handicapped. Khushboo Kumari, his classmate, wants to be a teacher. They have hearing disability. Next year both of them will step out of the Ashadeep campus. The question is which school they will join to complete their secondary level education.
There are very few schools in Bihar that provide a friendly environment to these children. Children with hearing disability are completely fit mentally and they need only a little more attention than the other children because they take time to do lip reading. The smart class facilities are really helpful for these children but it is not available in all schools.
Many schools refuse admission to special children by saying that the kids are not ‘compatible’ with their school curriculum, or they don’t have any teachers to teach them. The confidence of the children are broken and many times that is the end of their education.
These children are not so different from other kids, but are treated differently and are seen with sympathy. They need a friendly and accessible environment not sympathy.
Ashadeep the school for the special children, at Fairfiel Colony, Digha, has been shaping their future since 1996. There are three kinds of students there hearing embedded, intellectually disabled and multi handicapped. The students here are taught to develop listening, speech and language skills, self-help skills, and social and communication skills so that they can comfortably fit in the society.
The classes are till 8th standard only and after the eighth grade, children have to move out of Ashadeep’s environment and this is where they face problems. Schools, teachers are also not easily available for them.
The principal of Ashadeep said “Teachers for our school are not easily available because teachers need great patience to deal with the students. They have to repeatedly teach the same thing to make student understand, and that sometimes causes stress to the teachers.”
The students who are intellectually disabled need special care and cannot do anything for themselves but the hearing embedded children are capable. They do not need our consolation they just want equal opportunities and they will show their capabilities.
The question is, for how long will our schooling system turn a deaf ear to the hearing impaired?