Communication and languages help us connect with each other
Synopsis of the Story
This unique holistic program has trained over 600 students, their teachers and parents across 3 districts in Rajasthan on sign language. It has partnered with the Noida Deaf Society for the education of sign language through ‘Jeevan Tarang’ program.
In an effort to provide equal opportunities to children from all walks of life, Hindustan Zinc, Udaipur is consciously and consistently providing equal educational opportunities and the knowledge of sign language to Hard of Hearing children through its Jeevan Tarang program. The program has so far helped over 600 students, their teachers and parents in learning sign language across 3 districts in Rajasthan.
Hindustan Zinc recently organized a special program with students of the Jeevan Tarang program across Ajmer, Bhilwara and Chittorgarh in Rajasthan. Students enthusiastically participated in activities like poster-making competitions, drawing competitions, group dance, cultural activities and awareness on preventive measures for COVID.
To help the hard of hearing enter mainstream society, sign language is an important tool of inclusion and socialization. Jeevan Tarang’s project involves a holistic approach towards inclusion where not just the students but also their teachers and family members are taught sign language.
Through this initiative, more and more students have been empowered to effortlessly integrate into mainstream education. It has also ensured that teachers and schools are able to foster an inclusive environment. Students are also taught vocational skills to be able to become financially independent and live a life of dignity.
Many hard-of-hearing students have to deal with daily hardships to be able to communicate and be a part of mainstream education, which often forces them to miss out on valuable experiences and opportunities. In order to change this situation and help these children approach life confidently, Hindustan Zinc in partnership with Noida Deaf Society designed the Jeevan Tarang program where the children and teachers received Indian Sign Language training through a disciplined curriculum.
One of the beneficiaries is Ram Gopal, class tenth student at Deaf School, Ajmer. Since he was young, Ram lacked the necessary learning and communication skills. He had trouble understanding the subjects without sign language. Through the Jeevan Tarang program, he as well as his teachers and parents were trained in sign language.
Sharing his happiness, and excited Ram signed, “The Jeevan Tarang program has changed my life completely and now I not only understand the subjects in school easily but have also developed a zeal to study. I am so happy that I can share my thoughts and feelings with my friends, teachers and parents without any problem. I am now teaching sign language to my cousins and people around me.”
Ram’s school teacher, Shilpa said, “I learned sign language after Jeevan Tarang’s intervention and now I am teaching my subjects with the help of sign language. In my class, Ram communicates with me and clears his doubts effortlessly due to a better knowledge of sign language by both he and me. Ram has found his interest in computers and wants to get a computer job when he is older.”
14-year-old Tanu from Bhilwara also has a similar story but today she is an A grade student inspiring her classmates to excel in academic and co-curricular activities.
Tanu’s mother says, “Now, we understand Tanu’s gestures and she also motivates us to learn sign language for better communication in the family. After learning sign language, school teachers are also able to communicate with Deaf students. Thank you, Hindustan Zinc and Noida Deaf Society, for your generous support to Deaf children.”
During the lockdown, the program ensured online mediums were adopted to continue regular training programs. Zoom, WhatsApp, and recorded videos were used to impart the necessary skills without any interruption.
The parents were also made an integral part of the learning process including counseling and career guidance sessions to help them learn, communicate and work with their hearing-impaired children for a better future.
Furthermore, these students are also being given an opportunity to learn basic English reading and writing skills, computer skills, and personality development training under the program. Special workshops for female students were organized on menstrual hygiene management and defense against sexual abuse, to equip them with the courage and a safe space to be able to report such incidents and seek help.
The Jeevan Tarang program that started in 2017 continues to work towards a larger purpose of providing an equal opportunity and integrative environment by strengthening the educational ecosystem and improving learning levels of children with disabilities and make them employable.