Jul 31, 2013

Am Deaf .. Not Dumb

 This post is an entry for Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012 on Indiblogger

The world of silence has always intrigued me. I have always wondered how people communicate without talking. It has made me stop and wonder how people express even without talking or making a lot of noise as we do. I would look at people who were deaf and mute ,communicating and I would find myself a misfit in their world. They would be seen happily communicating, laughing and expressing ideas. They made me wonder,  whether  yelling , screaming and shouting necessary to express oneself , when the sign language or being silent conveyed more information . I would always wish to be a part of that particular group and honestly their conversations seemed more exciting and interesting because it would be all gestures teamed up with expressions. I always wished to learn this sign language but I never knew how to go by it. But this young lady Ruma Roka did something that I just dreamt of.Watch her out here

Ruma Roka is an ordinary woman who did an extra ordinary feat.She , like me was intrigued by the world of silence and decided to explore this world and empower this percent of population who had a weak or no hearing sense , but dreams that seemed to have no boundaries.She learnt the sign language herself and tried to explore the meaningful silence in their world. She realised that this world had unspoken and unheard potential that had to be brought out. She set up her institution to train such students and she wanted to see these kids in MNC's just like any of us working in a 9-5 shift and earning a decent income. Her dream turned into reality with her student Karan Bahadur making it to one of the leading MNC in Pune.

A clip in her video shows a young deaf girl student being taught to talk  like we do. The few seconds of the video make you feel restless and it actually makes you get into the skin of the girl and realise how difficult is to get a deaf and mute kid to talk like any of us. Roma highlights the fact that most of the "doctors" stress on the fact that what if  your child is born deaf, she may be able to speak and parents then start training their kids in the most pathetic way ever(as shown in the video) Why can't we accept someone the way they are..? Why can't we accept the diversity?Why cant we accept that every individual is unique ?

I believe India is totally insensitive to the needs to differently abled people. We have no systems, nothing in place for these people.  I dread to imagine if I would have ever been deaf or mute, how I would have survived in a country like ours where there is no scope of development for people like me. It’s not everyday that people like Roma Ruka come forward and bring about a world of change. It’s highly essential for us to accept the fact that a person may be deaf but they may not be dumb. A person may be differently abled(I wouldn’t want to call them disabled. Even the word Disable has an “able” in it.) but he/she may be good at several other things.  We need to identify this potential and use it in the development of our country.  We never bother to give a thought , that a person may not be able to speak or convey the message like we do , but then they to have a brain of their own to think. Its highly essential  to give a voice to their thoughts.

It’s necessary to have training centers led by several such Roma’s  where in even deaf and mute people can give voice to their thoughts. I hardly know of any school in my town where in these specially challenged people are trained or they are employed. It’s the need of the hour that we have special schools for the specially challenged people, have special faculty to train them, have special training techniques, and also an effective cell that looks into the fact that these people are not exploited( because this is the section of the society that would never speak out even if they are exploited). 

 Why isn’t sign language made a compulsory language in the teaching courses like B.Ed ? Why isn’t it made mandatory that the employers be trained in sign languages apart from other foreign language like German, Japanese. Why isn’t Sign language getting a universal recognition? Why aren’t we even giving a thought about exploiting the silent but potential resources of our country to achieve our dream of being a super power? The reason is WE ARE INSENSITIVE….We feel they cant speak, so why speak for them ?

We overlook the fact, that this silent part of India could be brimming with potential. It’s high time, we become a bit more sensitive to the needs of these people. It’s high time that we create job opportunities for differently abled people. It’s high time we cater to the needs of India’s deaf population. It’s high time we change our thoughts that only two legged person, with proper eyesight and hearing ability are HUMAN and only they are capable.  “Change the thought and you will change the world”, as a famous proverb goes; Roma did exactly the same thing. From 6 students in her apartment to 1500 students , she has made around 500 of her students financially independent .  She has proved that Deaf people are not actually dumb. 

According to me, being deaf or dumb by birth isn’t a SIN, but paying a deaf ear to the needs of  such differently abled people is a SIN


  1. Nice Post Buddy. Best Wishes for the Contest :)
    Do check out mine as well : https://sumitnangia.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/idea-caravan-innovative-ideas-towards-a-brighter-tomorrow/


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