18 Mar Empowering Deaf and Blind Children in India
Posted at 14:59h in South AsiaIt’s a hard place to describe in words. To make sense of the chaos, the people, the beauty, and the colour. To comprehend its assault on the senses – the spicy curry, the steaming chai, the rich spices, the perpetual crowds and the unending honks from vehicles weaving through the impossible traffic. After visiting India, National Geographic’s Keith Bellows once said, “It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.” India is undeniably incredible, with all of its remarkable sights, overwhelming sounds, and delectable cuisine. But like most places, it’s the people that keep you coming back. Last year, a group from Operation Groundswell went backpacking in India and visited the Patiala School for the Deaf and Blind for two days. This year, we are staying for two weeks. The school has been providing free education and housing for deaf, blind, and deaf blind students for over 45 years. Denied government funding and grants, the school relies heavily on the generosity of its donors. The school aims to transform its students both personally and professionally, by empowering deaf and blind children to realize personal independence, economic self-reliance and social inclusion. By providing an education to children who wouldn’t normally receive one in India, it is giving students a chance to develop their capacity to reach an optimum level of active participation as an effective and meaningful citizen of India. Our Operation Groundswell team will be learning sign language to interact with the students, teach lessons, and engage in art projects. We will be going on a field trip with the students to a science museum and to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Deaf and blind children learn using their senses, and so will we. Another world awaits, care to join?