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Nov 1, 2019

She Shines Like a Star!

Being the older child Richa (name changed) is pampered like a queen. Born on a rainy day, her parents were filled with joy with a homecoming of a sweet baby girl. Her parents loved her a lot, especially her father was very fond of her and believed that she was special in every way until the time that they got to know that their little angel was actually a child with special needs.

The family learned about that Richa has hearing loss after six months from her birth came as a huge blow to the family. When she was evaluated by the doctor they also got to know that she had cortical vision loss as well. Learning about the dual disability, while Richa’s family reacted negatively, her father decided to raise her with the best possible means.

In 2017, Sense India’s team came to know about Richa. When we first met her, she lacked concentration, her receptive skills were poor, was a quiet shy girl and was easily distracted. Richa then started coming to the centre regularly and was provided special education services.

In this years there has been a tremendous improvement in her condition. She is now partially independent in her daily activities and through speech and communication training is now able to communicate verbally. She enjoys arts and crafts activity at the centre a lot and is currently studying in grade 10. Her educator says, “English is her favourite subject in school. Richa enjoys sharing about her peers, her daily experiences and she never fails to share them with me. Richa and I have now become like friends and I believe she will achieve all her goals”.

When we asked Richa what are her aspirations, she says, “I want to become an English teacher. My teacher and father have full faith in my capabilities. My father has been my guiding support in everything and through his support, I’ll be able to fulfil my dreams”.

Jul 24, 2019

Not A Dream, Anymore

Young Suraj (Name changed), belongs to Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh and has turned 15 this March 2019. Born with deafblindness due to Rubella Virus, Suraj was confined within four walls of his home and showed reluctance to move out. He lacked the exposure that the other kids of his age had. Suraj’s father, himself is a teacher in a government institution. Despite having taught thousands of students in his tenure, he felt helpless in front of his son. He could do nothing but rue the fact that he wasn’t able to teach Suraj, all that he wanted to.

But come, 26th of September, 2015, Suraj’s life was set for a massive overhaul, the day when he was enrolled under ‘Sparsh’ programme implemented by Sense India’s partner organisation with support from Sense India. Post Suraj’s enrollment in the programme, a vast difference was seen in how he carries himself and his attitude towards life. He has made friends and can now be seen playing with his friends, which is a great leap for someone who didn’t step out of his home, at all. He likes dancing and playing with a ball and spends a significant part of his day playing. The training in the programme has allowed him to make use of his other senses, which his educator feels is the key to his development. He communicates with people using both sign language as well as verbal communication.

Suraj’s educator has laid constant emphasis on training him to use basic sign language as well as identifying body parts. She is also training Suraj to use a cane, hence supporting his outdoor mobility.

The rehabilitation team at the centre is trying to improve Suraj’s pre-vocational skills and make him independent in ‘Activities of Daily Living’ (ADL) so that he can lead his life of ease. Suraj’s family has also been supported by the team to attain ‘Disability Certificate’, ‘Disability Pension’ as well as Unique Disability Identification Card, to avail the benefit of various government schemes and services.

Suraj’s mother is quite proud of his development and in an emotional voice adds, “My son now eats his own food and communicates his needs to us. I’m quite happy to see that he is independent and can take care of himself”.

Apr 29, 2019

Journey from Home to School

From Home to School

Away from her family for a better future, 14 years old Prachi (Name Changed) resides at Lioness Karnavati hostel for girls with disabilities, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad. Prachi was born deafblind (Low vision with moderate to profound hearing impairment).

Challenges of co-parenting can increase the amount of stress on marriage especially when there is a child with a disability at home. Family dynamics are further affected if one of the parents are addicted to alcohol or other drugs. There have been several cases wherein due to alcoholism, the addicted partner is not able to play their role and resort to aggression and physical abuse when drunk. This is what happened to Prachi’s parents. 6 over ago her parents separated because of Prachi’s father’s increasing alcohol addiction.

Been a single mother with no permanent source of income, it became difficult for Prachi’s mother to take proper care of her and provide for her needs. It was while visiting a civil hospital, one sensitized medical practitioner referred the concerned mother to Sense India’s partner organisation in Ahmedabad which runs a centre for children and young adults with deafblindness. Prachi was enrolled at the centre and started receiving the necessary services.

Before joining the programme though Prachi was independent in her daily living activities, she remained confined within the home and excluded from other children in the neighbourhood. Due to her deafblindness, she was not enrolled in any school and her mother was apprehensive to enrol her. Her only friends were papers and crayons colour.

Over the years Prachi has learnt to stay in a hostel and adjust with other girls. She now socializes with fellow hosteliers. On the academic front, Prachi has learnt to count, is able to identify colours, shapes, animals and vegetables. At the centre, she is getting regular training in sign language. Seeing her progress she has been enrolled in an inclusive school, where she is following the 4th-grade curriculum and has started to read and write. Her mother was given guidance in applying for Prachi’s disability certificate, school health card, bus pass and Aadhar card.

From living in isolation to a girl who now loves to explore the garden, visit restaurants and play games with her classmates Prachi’s mother is overwhelmed with her progress. She adds, “Prachi’s journey from her home to school is commendable. It is nothing short of a miracle for me that my daughter is learning.”

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