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 Education  India Project #20789

Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India

by Sense International (India)
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Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India
Help Educate 250 Deafblind Children in India

4 years old Lucy (name changed) comes across as a cheerful and adorable girl. Lucy’s lives with her family in a small village of South West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya. Her family includes her parents, three sisters and one brother. Her parents work as daily wage labourers to earn living and meet their family’s needs. Unlike her other siblings, Lucy is unable to run around, play and go to school. Born at home her parents noticed that she is not able to crawl and missed several developmental milestones. At the age of two Lucy was diagnosed with deafblindness along with cerebral palsy. She also has epilepsy. Her diagnosis as a child with multiple disabilities was a huge emotional setback for the parents. They wished that their daughter could walk, play and live life like her other siblings. Coming from a small village, financial constraints and unawareness made it a struggle for them to access necessary help for their daughter.

In Oct. 2019, Lucy was identified by Sense International India project team members during fieldwork. Before enrolling at the centre, Lucy was very weak and would fall even while seating. She used to have frequent epilepsy episodes because of which her mother was scared to engage her in any activities. Where on one side cerebral palsy affected Lucy’s muscles tone, on the other side deafblindness resulted in severe communication gap in her life and frequent epilepsy episodes drained her of energy.

Our team is working to improve Lucy’s health so that she can be more actively engaged in other activities. There is a noticeable improvement in her health as she is receiving nutritional support in the form of oats, cerelac, health drinks and other nutritional support from the project. Lucy has gained both strength and weight as compared to earlier. Her parents have received support for medicines too which ensured regular medication and reduced epilepsy episodes. Through the regular home visit of community-based rehabilitation worker as per the schedule fixed, Lucy’s mother is learning to involve her in activities such as identifying common vegetables, fruits as well give attention to her hygiene. Parents have received training from rehabilitation professionals incorrect positioning of Lucy while sitting as well as basic exercises to develop the habit of sitting and improve their daughter balance. Her parents have been guided to apply for disability certificate as soon she turns five this year.

Lucy’s mother says, "We give our hearty thanks and gratitude to Sense India and we are filled with joy and happiness for their kind helping hands in distribution of medicines and supplement foods for our daughter. We cannot repay back for the good things that they have done to our child including the whole family, Thank you."

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14 years old Tanisha (name changed) lives in Agartala, Tripura with his parents. Her father is a teacher in a govt. school and is the sole earning family member. Tanisha has Aphakia (absence of the lens of the eye) with partial hearing impairment along with intellectual disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Tanisha’s father felt helpless that he is not able to help his daughter in understanding concept and teach.

 At present Tanisha has poor concentration. Though she has a good memory but needs to work on semantic skill i.e. understanding meaning in different types of words, phrases, narratives, signs and symbols. She can count till 20 but fumbles a lot. Also because of poor vocabulary, she is not able to communicate much and at times keep repeating words. Though she follows instructions but needs a verbal prompt to do activities. Her parents’ dream of seeing her independent in activities of daily living and that she can concentrate better.

After enrolment under the project special educators has been working on engaging Tanisha different activities to improve her concentration as well as introduce her to the new concept like counting till 30 and additions using the abacus. Over the next three months, rehabilitation professional will work with Tanisha and help her make her independent in other activities of daily living like dressing herself etc. Step by step Tanisha is learning and moving forward in her life.

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Youngest among four siblings, 7 years old Sabina (Name changed) from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh never went to school as neighbourhood children of her age. Sabina was born with deafblindness, though her parent’s do not know the exact cause of disability. They noticed something was not right with her at the age of 1 year. Sabina has been diagnosed with low vision and mild hearing impairment. As a result of her disability, Sabina’s parents were unable to enrol her in any school and she remained at home, which restricted the opportunity to explore and learn.

It was during a survey by Sense India’s partner organisations team Sabina was identified and enrolled under the project in February 2019. Since she never went to school her understanding in terms of the concept of numbers, alphabets and socialization were not much developed. Post clinical vision and hearing assessment Sabina was provided spectacles. After a year of work with her, Sabina is now able to read alphabets when enlarged. Her Special Educator focused to make her independent in activities of daily living and in orientation and mobility. With support from the project team, Sabina’s parents dream to get her enrolled in a regular school got fulfiled. She has been enrolled in a government school near their house. She is following 1st-grade curriculum currently. The project team has guided parents in making disability certificate for Sabina to avail train concession certificate.

My daughter now walks on her own from home to school and comes. She identifies her own things and I’m very happy to see her progress”, says Sabina’s mother.

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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”.

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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”.

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Organization Information

Sense International (India)

Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat - India
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @senseindia
Project Leader:
Shivkumar Sharma
Ahmedabad, Gujarat India
$18,867 raised of $25,500 goal
156 donations
$6,633 to go
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