AIF In the News

102 Students from MAST Partner Noida Deaf Society Graduate from IT Course

Hearing-impaired conquering new frontiers

The Hindu

102 students belonging to Noida Deaf Society receive graduating certificates in Information Technology courses

For 102 hearing-impaired students, February 23 will always remain etched in their mind.

On this day, the students belonging to the Noida Deaf Society were encouraged with words of praise by heads of different institutions and received graduating certificates in Information Technology courses at a function at Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts here.

Even though odds were heavily stacked against them in life, they managed to overcome their handicap with patience and perseverance.

Narrating his story of struggle through sign language, Rajesh R., who hails from Kerala, said since his father was jobless there was tremendous pressure on him to get sustainable employment. “I came to know that an institute for deaf students was running near the Capital. So I confided in my mother about my desire to study in Noida. On seeing the urban landscape of Delhi, I was completely taken aback. With great difficulty, I managed to locate Noida.”

After passing out from NDS in a subject he desperately wanted to master, Rajesh has finally landed up with a job in a bank. “Studying IT with deaf students was an exhilarating experience. I am now able to support my family.”

After felicitating students, NIIT Chairman R. S. Pawar regretted that educational institutions give emphasis solely to academics but not on making students sensitive towards the environment around them.

“Students’ brains are being sharpened but their hearts are not being developed. They need to develop feelings. This was the thought which entered my mind while I was wondering how Niranjani (choreographer) managed to get the right rhythm from hearing impaired students today. We need to carry forward this movement.”

Sharing her experience of working with hearing impaired employees, Axis Bank vice-president Binita Basu said she decided to take up the challenge of training five hearing impaired boys at her office. “I was surprised at their grasping power and concentration level. Since they cannot hear or listen a word, they do not get distracted. They cleared the HR programme, the written exam and interview. We recruited three of them.”

Ms. Basu said the hearing impaired people have the advantage of communicating even when they are separated by a distance where words cannot be heard. And as employees, they can become a part of crisis management as well as being the centre of attraction during lighter moments.

American India Foundation CEO M. A. Ravi Kumar said before Mahatma Gandhi died he had put Indians to a litmus test while they were contemplating what their next step should be.

“One troubled soul asked what his next step should be. Gandhi replied he must do something useful for the poor and the needy.”

Describing hearing-impaired students as special, Mr. Kumar said they need to be ambitious.

“While watching the short film today I realised that you need to dream big. You will face difficulties in your new jobs but you will also find mentors. You need to speak to mentors on a regular basis. It is possible that you become chief executive officers of companies and help others come up in life.”

Pointing out that she learnt sign language as she wanted to work in the field of education with the hearing-impaired, NDS founder Ruma Roka said the challenge before her was to create a curriculum which would provide them livelihood opportunities.

Narrating the success story of one of her students, Ms. Roka said one Ankur had to travel every day for five hours to reach his institute and go back to his home in Muzaffarnagar. “To attend his graphic design class, he used to wake up at 4-30 a.m. and catch the 5 a.m. bus. The class was four hours long. He has trained in cartography and is now leading an independent life in Gurgaon.”

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