From a Dark Corner to Colourful Society: A Dignified & Contributing Woman...
Have you ever thought that a woman who was born deaf, who cannot speak and who has little vision can work in the community for a hundred days under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and contribute to the family-income? Yes, Hansa a deafblind woman has done it.
When identified by the CBR field-workers, she was a girl of 6 years who was not able to see, hear or speak. Due to this situation, she had very little interaction with her family members. She used to stay alone in the dark corner of her house. Her only sibling is her brother, and she used to dress like him. She did not have the concept of herself as a woman.
Gradually, the field-workers started working with her as well as her family.
- She was taught sign language, and very quickly she learned it Gradually, her family members were also taught how to interact with her.
- She was also admitted to the village school.
- Field workers also started work on personal hygiene and other daily living skills.
- She was encouraged to play with her brother; they started playing with each other and had fun.
- Gradually, they started playing with other children. Hansa was now a part of children community of the village.
- Now, she started considering herself as a girl, and began to have on the clothes, which other village-girls wore e.g., frock, skirt etc.
- As she grew up, she was provided training in the household works as like other girls in the community.
- Very soon she learned to fetch water from the well, helping her mother in cooking, cleaning vessels, washing clothes, etc. She was now able to do almost every thing, which other village girls of her age could do.
- When a national scheme, which provides assured employment of 100 days to one of the adults in the family was implemented, she also tried to register her name for the same. But the local authorities refused to do so, considering her Deafblindness. Again, the fieldworkers and family members fought for her right as an adult person. Finally, the authorities had to consider her as an individual, a human being first and Deafblind afterward. They had to respect her right, which all other adults enjoy, and she also worked satisfactorily for one hundred days under the scheme and became a real contributing member of family and the society.