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BBA students at the Mumbai Campus spend a Day with the Aurally – Impaired

 

Topics:
BBA, MUMBAI

 

On the 30th of September, the BBA students with S P Jain, Mumbai were taken on a tour they would remember. The Mumbai Jags experienced something new. They visited the Rochiram T. Thadani School for the hearing impaired, a school in Chembur, Mumbai, built to diagnose, educate, and empower children with aural impairment. Later, the cohort had lunch at Mirchi and Mime, a restaurant with a twist – staffed with individuals who are hearing impaired.

On arrival at the Rochiram Thadani School, the cohort was addressed by the Principal, Mrs. Poonam Sawant. She explained to the batch that just providing hearing aids to students was not enough, since there are many forms of deafness. As such, all pupils have to first pass through what she termed as “the heart of the school” – the audiology laboratory. Here the students’ impairment is diagnosed and the right equipment is chosen and customised for them.

 

On the 30th of September, the BBA students with S P Jain, Mumbai were taken on a tour they would remember. The Mumbai Jags experienced something new. They visited the Rochiram T. Thadani School for the hearing impaired, a school in Chembur, Mumbai, built to diagnose, educate, and empower children with aural impairment. Later, the cohort had lunch at Mirchi and Mime, a restaurant with a twist – staffed with individuals who are hearing impaired.

On arrival at the Rochiram Thadani School, the cohort was addressed by the Principal, Mrs. Poonam Sawant. She explained to the batch that just providing hearing aids to students was not enough, since there are many forms of deafness. As such, all pupils have to first pass through what she termed as “the heart of the school” – the audiology laboratory. Here the students’ impairment is diagnosed and the right equipment is chosen and customised for them.

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Mrs. Sawant went on to mention that the school has three main goals. The first one being to train students to be able to integrate into regular schools – a goal that they have been achieving on a regular basis. Secondly, for students who enrol late, that is, above the age of ten, the goal is to give them basic education and give them vocational training so that they can be gainfully employed. Lastly, for students who enrol very late, the school’s goal is to teach them basic skills such as money management so that they can become self-employed.

After the session with the principal, the Jags split into many groups to observe the classrooms in action. One of the first things that they noticed was that the student to teacher ratio was no more than eight to one, arranged in a semi-circular or “L” shaped formation, so that the teacher and students have visual contact at all times. The atmosphere in the classrooms were electric, with classes on everything from reading, singing, and discussing.

The visit ended with a performance by the students of the school – the silent Indian national anthem. The Jags all stood in attention as the students of Rochiram T. Thadani School mimed the words of the anthem, a performance which everyone in the room admired. 


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Lunch for the cohort was arranged at Mirchi and Mime. The staff at Mirchi and Mime are hearing impaired, and the Jags had to learn some sign language basics to communicate with the servers. Touching the thumb with the index finger meant “excuse me”, and touching the palm to the chin and extending it forwards meant “thank you”. In addition, each server had a special sign-language name, that was used to signal them.

A lavish spread of various breads, kebabs, daal, and curries later, the Jags headed back, after a day well spent.

The entire experience was an eye opener. The Mumbai Jags will unanimously testify to that. When one thinks of aural handicap, or handicapped in general, one thinks of a debilitating disability that stops someone from being a functional member of the society. All such myths and stereotypes were demolished for the students within one day. The Jags were witness to the workings of Rochiram Thadani School, and to that of Mirchi and Mime, and they now know what people there are capable of.

 

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