“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
There are many instances where we fail to value what we have. We often have so many things to complain about like what we have and what we don't have and most importantly we fail to recognize ourselves. It is only when people start seeing things differently and think how much we have been blessed paves way to love and respect ourselves.
We have examples all around us,
- you would not waste a single bit of food if you think about the Somalia children's shrunken stomach
- you would not complain about your looks or talents if you see differentially-abled people making histories
and there are many people though small in number are making waves of changes in someone's else life without expecting anything in return. A small gesture , a smile in return and a satisfaction in their work is what fuels them till now to continue their work.
How do you feel if you have to spend an entire day without having any real vocal conversations in a place filled with groups of beaming young boys and girls? Strange, isn't it?
It is not a single day but months and years that a single lady with high aspiration is working along with a her team to make dozens of deaf people to stand on their own legs.
Noida Deaf Society (NDS) is a not-for-profit organisation and training center or say project that focus on training deaf students from economically weak and marginalized sections of the society in India to make them financially independent. The lady behind this organisation is Ruma Roka who strives to bring out the best from her students enabling them to make their disability into productivity.
Many parents struggle physically and emotionally when they come to know about their kid having hearing problem. They will make the condition even more worse if they start treating the child differently making the child think that he is not like other kids and he is incapable of doing things just like others. This is not the fact.
Just like people born with different facial structures, different thinking capability and productivity, these kids have been born with their own limitations. The limitation of having only 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 5 senses working. These children can't hear any sounds; they cannot talk as we do but other than these limitations they can be as productive as we are in many fields. All that was required was some basic training through sign language and lots of motivation. This is what Ruma Roka proved.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” - Albert Einstein
She started with teaching English for six deaf students in a tiny two bed room flat in Noida after learning sign language out of interest. She learnt the need of these deaf people to live and work in mainstream areas just like we do. She also came to know that there are certain areas in some organisation where these minorities can work productively. So, she challenged herself to educate and train the deaf enabling them to enter mainstream through specialized vocational training thereby making themselves eligible for the work and also be a model for others to follow.
The Result: About 1000 of her kids ( as she calls them) are employed in different areas like Graphic designing, Backend IT and Data Entry, Hospitality, etc in some leading organisation.
Ruma Roka is one living example in Noida providing families some support system giving them an option to bring up their deaf child to their best of their ability. But, we need more Ruma Rokas in many other parts of India and worldwide to create possibilities for the deaf and to overcome their limitations. Again, it all starts with one leading the other.
As the strength of students are increasing in her organisation, Ruma's needs also increases in terms of providing the facilities need to train her students the best. She plans to build a state of art vocational training institute for the deaf enabling them to have the best training and to have access to employment opportunities. If you are reading this post, then you may want to know how to contribute to take this project forward.
- If you are somewhere near Noida, volunteer yourself on your spare time.
- You can offer assistance in providing suitable job opportunities for the students in NDS
- Organizations can come forward to sponsor their various training programmes.
- You can also donate or sponsor some financially weaker students thereby helping both NDS and the student.
- You can share, tweet or let your friends know about this on going project.
Finally, it is time to appreciate what we have got, our life and to love oneself
One man's trash is another man's treasure
And as Ruma mentioned in her TED talk " Big Changes can only occur by small thoughts and more importantly to think differently "