Sunday, 18 February 2018

Empowering the deaf HI.

Probably the most puzzling headline you will read this week. Deaf and HI being the same thing, of course, dumb and mute are the norm terms there too. I suppose it depends where you live and if obsessions with ID's are your bag. We know the western world doesn't know who they are, so create a new ID every weekend..

Silence can be the most powerful sound. This is what one would have experienced at the ‘Deaf children’s mela’ organised by the Deaf EnAbled Foundation (DEF) at Diamond Jubilee Outdoor Stadium, Sports Complex here, on Saturday. There was no music and yet the children could feel the rhythm as they danced in a circle. At another corner, children laughed to the jokes shared in sign language by the joker. There were over 350 hearing-impaired children from five schools who participated in several events conducted throughout the day.

That silence can be hard-hitting was the conviction that brought together a group of individuals in 2009 to create the Deaf EnAbled Foundation, an organisation by the hearing-impaired and working for the hearing-impaired in realising their potential and utilising their education. Since then, DEF has been making steady progress in making a world of difference in the lives of the hearing-impaired in cities across India through training and awareness programmes and tying up with educational institutions. As a result, over 2,000 hearing-impaired students have been placed in companies or are self-employed and several others are reaping the benefits of DEF’s vocational training programmes.

First launched in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Vijayawada, DEF has now branched into cities like Visakhapatnam, Mumbai, and Indore. The organisation has a team of hearing-impaired instructors and volunteers teaching the youth English, computers, MS-Office, speed typing, Tally, architecture and soft skills. They also conduct leadership training, personality development programmes, interpreting services, sign language seminars, HIV awareness workshops and hearing-impaired women empowerment programmes, among others. “