According to various estimates, India has about 10 million deaf and more than 30 million who are hard of hearing. The misery of such people precipitates more when the society slams the door of development on them. Various NGOs, governmental organizations and private organization have taken a lead to give them a just place in the society. Anushruti is one such initiative by Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee that serves the deaf children in Roorkee and neighboring towns.
On November 11, 1989, IIT Roorkee (erstwhile University of Roorkee) established the Roorkee School for the Deaf in its campus as its Social Initiative. Recently on April 23rd 2012, organization was given a new name of Anushruti. It has an excellent team of highly qualified, trained and dedicated teachers that have helped in giving a respectable life to more than 500 children.
From a humble beginning, Anushruti has grown into a full-fledged 10+2 school for the education of Deaf Children. In addition to normal speech and auditory training equipment, the school has the latest Computer Aided Speech Development System. Along with normal education, the school students are also given Vocational Training in about 8 different areas- Art & Craft, Photography, Cooking & Catering, Cutting & Tailoring, Computers, manual Typing, Gardening and Reprography. The ultimate aim of the school is to make every child self-dependent in life having learnt all independent living Skills before he/she leaves the portal of the school. Most of its students are currently employed in Bank, Post Office, Titan Watch Company, Kevin Power solution and some of them are also self-employed.
RESEARCH BASED MODEL
In an interview with Mrs. Parvati Pandey, Principal of the school, she appreciated the students and faculty of the IIT Roorkee for actively undertaking R&D activities for the benefit of deaf children such as development of Assistive Devices, Educational Technology, Teaching Aids and Computer Software etc. During the last few years 4 PhDs and 13 M.Tech/M.Phil dissertations have been produced on deafness related topics.
CLASSROOM TEACHING & RELATED SERVICES
Apart from being equipped with the state of the art technology to support the classrooms of the school, the school has conformed to the scientific methods like Intelligence and Residual Potential Evaluation; Individual based Monitoring; Parent Counseling to treat its wards. In addition to this, Anushruti provides FREE Diagnostic, Audiometric and Speech Therapy Facilities to the community. It has also been assisting the students of IIT Roorkee with stammering and other speech disorders.
A regular visit to nearby villages to identify such children and provide them with free education and hearing aids has been the hallmark of the school. According to the Principal of the school, they have to face harsh ground realities to convince people to send their wards with the disability to the school.
The teachers of the school are highly motivated that they take up summer camps, workshops, and training sessions during school holidays. “Anushruti has become more of a family for such students as they connect more with their teachers than their parents ”, says the Principal of the school.
Today, the school is being run as a Community Supported Project wherein its expenses are mainly met through donations received from organizations and individuals. Off late, it has been assisted by THDC (Tehri Hydro Development Corporation) for completing its East Block.
Anushruti has been one of the most successful NGOs in Uttarakhand but has been unable to spread its roots farther. It is still in need of more funds to acquire the best technology and create a world class infrastructure for people with hearing disability. The school is undergoing some crucial revamps under the President Anasuya Banerji. We wish Anushruti success in all its future endeavors.