Suroshree came to ma'am when she was a little toddler.Her mother was a very depressed mother when she discovered her beautiful girl was deaf and had no hopes of of ever getting any happiness in life.She did not know how to live a life with a child who was deaf and feared the tough life ahead of her. She came to ma'am and her biggest fear was -the change of her name Suroshree. Her sentiments were attached to the name as the name was the combination of the parents and son's name.Ma'am assured her that nothing in her life will change, and her beautiful girl would be leading a very normal life if the mother cooperated.Then began years of speech therapy, typical Mrs. Hudlikar style- tough, strict and wanting only results. The girl is now 21\22 years old and just graduated as a B.E. in Information Technology from a normal college and without any handicap category. I was so thrilled to see how hard work had paid off. The parents were proud and so was Alaka ma'am.I too had misty eyes as I could see Prisha's future too shaping up positively in a field of her choice. I too would stand there proudly holding my daughter's degree one day.
It must have not been easy, as engineering is a difficult line.To understand the course, follow instructions, listen in class, do the practicals etc needs a lot of language base without which studies are not possible.It was possible to do it through spoken language.I listened to her speak but was a bit not happy as her speech was a bit unclear. Ma'am came down heavily on her as the speech had deteriorated over the years. It was because she was so engrossed in her studies that the spoken word was being ignored. SHE STOPPED LISTENING TO HER OWN VOICE. When we talk , there are always 2 listeners. One is the person we talk to, and the other being myself.She was listening to others and responding to them quickly without listening to her own voice. When we say something wrong, we correct our self, she stopped doing that.The therapy lessons were left long back as the parents were happy that she had started to talk very well.Over the years, the parents too become complacent and corrections took a back seat.She would now be coming to ma'am for the finish in her speech again.A few tips here and there would set her towards a better speech. This path of learning spoken language is not easy and the learning does not ever get over, but results are amazing as today the girl is independent, does not need an interpreter, did not have to sacrifice her dream of becoming an engineer and did not have to settle for a course which would be like a compromise. I can't imagine a girl like her today would have been settling for something like candle making, toy making due to lack of spoken language because this is what most of the mute children end up doing in India.Not that they are any lesser as jobs, but the point is about having aspirations and being able to fulfil them.
I was amazed at ma'am as she corrected Suroshree's speech even though she need not have. But this what is so different about her. She will not settle for less and I am fortunate to have found her in my life. Yesterday I realised that my work with Prisha too would not get over so fast. But does not a mother of a normal child do the same?i need to make sure I do not ever get relaxed as she is getting good speech, I need to be attentive and let her not slip as the pressures of studies mount over the years over her.The spoken language will always be a priority for us even as she goes towards fulfilling her dreams.Meeting Suroshree was an eye opener in more than one ways.I realised the things I need to do and not do.