Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Inky Sen, Programme Officer, VAANI, Kolkata stated that “VAANI, Deaf Children's Foundation hopes to bring issues around deafness to the forefront during this week with various activities planned to raise the awareness of the general public. VAANI hopes to also get the attention of corporate groups who can support us in our activities”. India celebrates Deaf Awareness Week in the last week of September. The last Saturday in September, that is 27th of the month this year, is celebrated as World Deaf Day.
“Deaf children do not gain access to language in the same way as hearing children”, Mrs. Sen said. During this World Deaf Week, “the VAANI team will be visiting prominent English and regional-language schools in Kolkata and Guwahati to conduct a programme on awareness about childhood deafness and the emotional and social needs of deaf children”. “We feel it is important that children themselves understand the problems their deaf peers face”
VAANI, Deaf Children's Foundation will also be coordinating a meeting with some prominent personalities in Assam to garner support and create a resource base for VAANI’s activities in the State on World Deaf Day.
VAANI, Deaf Children's Foundation will also be coordinating a meeting between parents of deaf children and heads of some prominent schools in Kolkata to discuss the special needs of deaf children in educational institutions.
VAANI, Deaf Children's Foundation is supporting an annual awareness programme for students of regular schools, coordinated by Anwesha, a registered group of parents of deaf children, on 26 September 2008 at the Jadavpur University campus. This meeting will also include an elocution competition for deaf and hearing children from regular schools.
VAANI representatives will also be present at the launch of an information kiosk at the Dr. S.R.Chandrasekhar Institute of Speech and Hearing in Bangalore. This kiosk, which will be providing information on issues around deafness to families of deaf children and deaf adults, is being set by the Institute with support from VAANI, Deaf Children's Foundation. World Deaf Week 08 was felt to be an appropriate time for launching this kiosk which will be an invaluable information provider.
In Gujarat, VAANI’s technical partner SSGB Vidyavihar School in Nadiad will be organising a parents’ meeting, a rally and other events to spread awareness about deafness during the World Deaf Week.
About VAANI, Deaf Children's Foundation
VAANI, Deaf Children’s Foundation (earlier known as IDCS-India) is a registered Trust and works to empower deaf children and their families across India. VAANI’s role is to act as a catalyst. Rather than delivering services, VAANI supports the development of accessible sustainable services for deaf children and their families whilst working closely with the overall development strategies of the country. VAANI works with local organisations to build on existing good practices, develop a resource base and understand what works for deaf children and their families in India. All of VAANI’s work is need-based and our strategy responds to gaps in the current system identified through state level feasibility studies and baseline surveys, using a participatory approach with active participation of all stakeholder groups.
VAANI, Deaf Children's Foundation is working on projects in West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Meghalaya and Gujarat.