The first time I visited Sense India was a reality check.
I remember waking up that morning being irritable about my room being untidy. I had to attend the opening of Sense India’s Mumbai centre but with other things occupying my mind, I really didn’t think too much about what the centre was for.
When I finally reached Navi Mumbai, at Sense India’s deafblind centre, everything changed. Read on to know how.
“Deafblind children” – sounds heart-breaking yet what does it truly mean?
We absorb the world around us through our 5 senses - sight (eyes), touch (skin), taste (mouth), sound (ears) and smell (nose). Out of these 5, the two most important senses are sight and sound. Now imagine not having both.
Even if we couldn’t taste, smell or feel but were able to see and/or hear, it would be sufficient to understand and learn and grow in the world around us. But with deafblindness, when you smell, touch or taste something, you have no idea what it is, nor can you hear or understand anyone who tries to explain it to you.
With no means of communicating, deafblindness limits our understanding to what our hands can feel and what our nose can smell. So how does one live or even have a future?
Here, Sense India helps children with deafblindness come out of isolation and neglect by helping them communicate and interact. They not only provide highly specialized training and education for deafblind children, but training to families, too, along with vocational support. Sense India also advocates for the rights of these isolated children within the community to ensure they are able to earn a livelihood and lead productive lives. Their recent victory is deafblindness being included in the Persons with disability Bill 2016 – for the first time in Indian history.
This wasn’t easy for me to write about – and I understand it’s difficult to read about too.
We don't realize how lucky we are to have simple pleasures like waking up to see the sun shine in the morning, or being able to hear the rain, the birds chirping, or the sound of our loved ones every day. The day I visited the Sense India Centre, I thanked God for giving me the power to see and hear – things we so often take for granted.
I am running the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon on January 15th for the 77,000+ children that Sense India supports out of an estimated 5, 00,000 in the Indian population. There is a long way to go and I’m motivated to do my bit and help Sense India reach out to more children in the country.
Being asthmatic, I haven’t even run 100 metres in my 25-year-old life, so training to run 6 kms is a challenge! But with my childhood friend, training and now fund-raising buddy Riya, we have dedicated ourselves to the campaign #MyStrides4Sense and are motivated to raise at least INR 4,00,000 for children with deafblindness in India.
This holiday season, we encourage you to donate generously to our fundraiser by clicking here:
Each contribution will be disbursed across the country to ensure no child with deafblindness in India is left behind.
Thank you for making #MyStrides4Sense stronger!
There are no comments