Today, India is home to 15 million hearing impaired citizens.
Can you grasp the implications of being born with a severe hearing loss? A baby who cannot hear, can often as a result not learn to speak, read or write. This in turn, can have an adverse effect on his/her future, often making it difficult for him/her to integrate into mainstream society and lead a normal life.
This is where Suniye steps in. Suniye is dedicated to helping the hearing impaired acquire language, learn to talk, go to regular schools and become useful members of society. Established in 1995, Suniye is a leading non-profit organisation in India working with and for the hearing impaired. Suniye runs a support school totally free of charge for hearing impaired children, which encourages inclusive education and helps in developing speech and language. The school is managed by parents of hearing impaired children and assisted by professionals, speech therapists, audiologists, doctors, teachers etc. They are one of the very few institutions in Delhi teaching spoken language to hearing impaired children.
Over the last 20 years, they have helped 1000+ students – almost 90% of them come from low income backgrounds – who have all gone on to do well in life.
Aditi Dubey, a class X student and a student of Suniye, was given the National Child Award for exceptional achievement in Roller Skating and the Best Student award in her school in 2013. She also represented Delhi in the Junior National Badminton Championship and came third.
Another student of Suniye, Cheenu Madan, who has profound hearing loss, did his BE in Computers from Delhi College of Engineering and his Master’s from University of Florida, USA and became a successful entrepreneur.
Vijay Krishnamani, who was born with an almost 100% hearing loss, today works with Tata Consultancy Services in Singapore. He won India’s National Award for Best Employee with Disability as well as the Infosys Excellence Award for Diversity. He also co-authored a book ‘A Values Route to Business Success: The Why and How of Employing Persons with Disability’ which was released by CII – Confederation of Indian Industry. Today, Vijay is the Global Co-ordinator of Suniye.
About Suniye School – What they do:
- Counsel: Suniye counsels parents and family members of hearing impaired children, on how to tackle problems effectively, and to create awareness about their role in the child’s progress. The school has a core group of experts and an experienced faculty. The experienced educators take up regular classes while senior parents assist and provide their individual experiences.
- Assess and Fit: Suniye assesses the child for hearing loss through audiometry tests. Based on the assessment, Suniye helps fit the child with a suitable hearing aid.
- Develop: Suniye teaches the children spoken and written language, social responsibilities, community living, general knowledge and subjects needed to go to a mainstream school. A teaching plan is drawn for each student separately. Performance, which differs from child to child, is reviewed on a weekly basis and the earlier plan is modified accordingly. Children are also exposed to practical experiences like visits to zoo, IGI airport, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Jantar Mantar, Fun and Food Village, Metro Rail, Churches, Temples etc., as part of their learning.
- Integrate & Monitor: Once a child acquires language and speech, Suniye helps parents with the admission of the child in a mainstream school. They interact with school authorities to monitor the progress of the child and organize interaction sessions between such school’s teachers/principals and the parents, to have a complete feedback about the child.
To understand how hearing impaired children are taught how to listen and speak, you can see this video by Suniye’s alumni and presently their Global Co-ordinator, Vijay Krishnamani.
How you can help
Suniye currently has 65 students. The support school is run totally free of charge for the hearing impaired children, to encourage inclusive education and help in developing speech and language, so that such children can integrate into mainstream society. The annual cost of each child’s education is around INR 30,000 or USD 425 or SGD 600. You can help by donating towards the education of Suniye’s students. You can make online donations here
For any queries, please feel free to get in touch with Vijay Krishnamani at firstname.lastname@example.org or via whatsapp at +65-85188507.