How 3 deaf, mute and visually impaired students are preparing for SSC exam
Every day for them brings with it new challenges, and they struggle harder. But the thought of giving up never crosses their minds. In an inspirational aim, three deaf, mute and visually impaired students are set to take the SSC exam in March
Saurabh Chougle (left) and Mohommad Bhaiji will take the SSC exam with schoolmate Saiyog Tari (not in picture)
Every day for them brings with it new challenges, and they struggle harder. But the thought of giving up never crosses their minds.
In an inspirational aim, three deaf, mute and visually impaired students are set to take the SSC exam in March. As the world observes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities today, spare a thought for Saurabh Chougle (21), Saiyog Tari (18), and Mohommad Bhaiji (18).
Balram Singh, a deaf-blind boy with his teacher, Vanita Masdekar, at the Helen Keller Institute at Ghansoli. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
An education board official says that no student having all three disabilities has appeared for the SSC exam in the disabled category in India before.
Thrice the strength
The three are students of the Helen Keller Institute for Deaf and Deafblind in Ghansoli. They have been preparing for the exam for the entire year and the result will be fruitful, believes the school.
Focus on progress
"It is very difficult for students who have all the disabilities to cross the levels required for appearing in the board exams, but these boys have performed exceptionally well," says Divyani Hadkar, coordinator at the school.
As a coordinator, Hadkar sees the issues faced by the students everyday, but recalls a touching moment even she can’t forget. "We don’t need light to study, that’s how we are able to learn and read even when everyone is asleep’, one of the students had said during the practice days," Hadkar says.
The families of the students are not just supporting them, but are also proud of their achievement.
Saiyog's mother Shrami Tari says, “He has been constantly writing papers, giving tests and practising at home. It has been really tough for us since he lost his sight and other functions, but he has somehow gone ahead and achieved the impossible.”
"When he was a kid, we were in Sangli. The special schools there didn’t want him, we were really heartbroken then. But it’s amazing how things have changed and how far we have come. He is appearing for his board exams like the rest of the kids. It seems unreal even when I say it right now," says Sridhar Chougule, Saurabh's father.
School director Sheila Sinha, explaining the art of teaching the deaf, blind and mute, says, "Their method of communication is very different. It’s only through tactile sign language that they can slowly understand things. One has to hold their hands and do the signs and make them understand."
Coordinator Divyani Shire says a person with all the three disabilities could not have given the SSC exam before, because of the severe lack of proper training and infrastructure.
"Here in our school, we have several levels, workshops and exercises, where we understand the capacity and capability of the child. Not a single child has crossed all the levels before. It’s a moment of pride and hope for the parents and teachers of the blind, deaf and mute," she adds.
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