Decades Of Welfare

  • Maninder Dabas / FG
  • India
  • Oct 26, 2012

 Just a normal life is what every physically impaired person ever desires. Unfortunately society doesn't often embrace those who lag behind. Fortunately, the Haryana Welfare Society for Hearing and Speech Handicapped (HWSHSH) is an organisation that trains such children right from a tender age


HWSHSH was established in the year 1971, under the Societies Act 1860. The prime objective of this Society is to rehabilitate those with hearing and speech impairments, by schooling them in modern ways of survival. It's one of the biggest organisations of its kind in the whole of North India, and it is operational in six districts of Haryana – Gurgaon, Sonipat, Karnal, Hissar, Sirsa and Panchkula.  It is an NGO, and the state of Haryana funds this organisation with 50 per cent of the total spending. We give preference to the children of Haryana, but those from other places in North India are also here in large numbers,” says N.C Jain, the Assistant Director, HWSHSH, Gurgaon branch. The Gurgaon branch has been in operation for the last twenty years, and now it is housed in a fairly big building, built in 2004, from the grants of private players and the then DC, Gurgaon. “At present we have 250 students, and we have a 100 bed hostel for them. As far as money is concerned, we get half as grant from the State government, and the rest we get as contribution from the parents of the kids, the shopkeepers in Sadar Bazar, and various corporate houses. We have an annual spend of almost Rs. 1.20 crores, and receive a Rs. 60 lakhs grant from the government,” explains Jain. “Our sole aim is to rehabilitate these kids, and bring them into the mainstream society – because this society doesn't easily accept the weak. We do our best to lessen the pain inflicted on them. Although we can't always set them free from this curse of impairment, we hope that by educating them we can make them capable of running in the race of life. We  educate them till the Matric level in the initial three stages—Nursery, LKG and UKG—we teach these kids the special ways; and later on they get the same education as any other 'normal' kid. We have an affiliation with the Bhiwani Board, Haryana, and there is no difference whatsoever in the curriculum from Class One to the Tenth. Their exams are also the same, including the Boards for the Eighth and Tenth,” says Jain. N.C Jain believes that hearing disability is the main reason behind a kid's incapability to speak – because if the kid doesn't hear, he or she can't think of what to say. So speaking is an impairment that follows the hearing one; and that is why the initial training of three years is extremely crucial for these kids.  

However, even a Matric level in today's world is not enough to earn one's bread and butter; and so an affiliation was forged. “Here we have an affiliation with this adjoining Industrial Training Institute (ITI), where our students get admission in the welder and fiddler trades, so they can learn the mode of earning a livelihood. Both these trades are for boys only, because we don't keep girls after Matric level. As far as the staff is concerned, we have 36 people here, including 14 teachers. We not only provide the kids with books and stationery, but also a school dress to those whose parents aren't well off,” adds Jain. The environment at the school is similar to any normal government school, with kids making lots of noise and teachers instructing them to remain silent. Teachers also believe that teaching these hearing impaired kids is indeed a challenge. “Initially it is very difficult to make them understand, but as soon as they start understanding the sign mechanism it becomes comparatively easy. These kids are very similar to the normal kids, and some of them are extremely talented. We try to teach them survival tricks before they enter the 'outer world', ” says Ashok Kumar, a teacher. Asked about the support from the Administration, N.C Jain says, “We receive a 'half-grant' from the government, but as far as the Gurgaon Administration is concerned we don't get much except for occasional help from DC P.C Meena. He has at times requested corporates, who came to him for some work, to donate some money to our organisation.”  


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