Sometimes it is the denial of certain essential rights which forces individuals to go out of their way to help others. Such is the story of Prof. SC Handa and Mrs. Kiran Handa who, in the quest of a school for their deaf son founded a school for the deaf themselves. The foundations of the School for the Deaf was laid in 1989 in the erstwhile University of Roorkee by Prof. SC Handa who was also given the prime responsibility to frame the constitution and vision for the school, by the university. Prof S.C Handa’s wife Mrs. Kiran Handa guided the school as founding principal and has been taking care of the school children with her motherly figure for more than two decades now. It has been 25 years since then and the school has not only sustained but enriched its legacy.
On the completion of 25 years of the school in 2014, it was renamed as Anushruti. The school now boasts to have the state of the art equipment to train the students in various fields and vocational skills. Apart from the academic curriculum which includes subjects like English, Hindi, Maths, Sciences, the students are also provided vocational training in the fields of Art and Craft, Cooking and Catering, Photography, Word Processing , tailoring etc. The students are also regularly counselled and monitored for their hearing loss.
Through its 25 years Anushruti has been financially supported by patrons in the form of alumni of IIT Roorkee, parents and other philanthropists. No fee is charged from the students studying in the school and the admission takes place on the basis of tests specially developed for them. The school has a teaching staff of 12-15 teachers for about 100 students. Student volunteers from IIT Roorkee help in organizing events, workshops and developing smarter, innovative teaching content/techniques. A case in point being a choreography workshop organized for the students by Boston based Wendy Jehlen, a trained Bharatnatyam dancer who specialises in teaching deaf children using movements and dance steps. The school recently started a new initiative in which products made by students in the form of paintings, small gift articles were sold in the technical and cultural festivals of the college under the brand of Anushruti.
The students of Anushruti are an integral part in cultural functions of IIT Roorkee including the Independence and Republic Day functions where their performance is acknowledges and celebrated by hundreds of college students, parents, NCC cadets, Army men from the cantonment and staff of the campus. What amazes the people who see their performances is the coordination among the students garbed in saffron, white and green dancing in sync to the beats of a song that they cannot hear. The exposure and integration of the deaf students with the community gives them confidence to live an independent life. Many successful students of the school now work in banks, and hospitality industry. “The students of Anushruti are heroes and a source of inspiration for us as they motivate us to be happy in the face of adversities. They are true gems who with proper guidance here, are excelling in different fields like photography, dance, and painting. “ says Dewesh, a student of IIT Roorkee who is a volunteer at Anushruti. Here’s hoping experiments like this continue to inspire us all and repose our faith in the society.”
Story by: Priyanshu Mani | Compiled by: Abhishek Tilatiya[infobox]
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