Let no parent go through what mine has...

Being a parent is one of the hardest things to do in life. You want to do everything right. You want to be there for your child emotionally, physically, and under all social circumstances. Now imagine, as a parent you realise only by the time your child turns about 2 that something may be wrong. Your child doesn’t respond to you, she doesn’t react to sounds. Your child seems unable to verbalise anything. You panic. You go to a doctor. He gives you the grave news that your child is deaf. That if you had come to them when your child was born there may have been certain things that could have been done to help your child deal with the situation better. For the time being though, they give you a hearing aid, recommend a cochlear implant and send you back home.

Your world comes crashing down. You are left hopeless. You feel lost.

I'm Deaf But Won't You Listen...

In India, 1 in every 1000 family experiences the severe hardship of having their child being born deaf. I was the 1 in 1000 born into my family. My family was not provided the kind of educated emotional support they needed to work through this major trauma. They needed help to understand the situation completely before they could start to cope. They needed to learn to come to terms with the situation before they could start to help me, their deaf child.

5-6 children of every 1000 children born in India, cannot hear properly. Most often to very ill equipped parents. There are no visual indicators to this disability and so its almost always too late by the time it is diagnosed by professionals. By the age of 3 years the child has lost the critical phase of speech, language and social skills learning. Compare to hearing children who can learn an average of 700 words by the time they are 3 years old, the children who cannot hear properly learn only 25 words on an average. This often results in the child feeling frustrated and isolated. This is why Vaani is starting a national campaign to make the implementation of screening of neonates and infants for deafness in all government hospitals mandatory.

"When I found out that my child would never be able to speak, it broke my heart. It crushed the whole family. He was such a cheerful baby. Now he would be destined for a life of solitude with no way to communicate"

"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?"

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