Sound of Success
Imagine an infant wailing in the cradle while the mother’s perhaps in the kitchen or just out of eyesight. The mother does her best and responds by calling out to reassure her little one that she’s around. An infant who can hear might be pacified after constantly hearing a familiar voice. Now imagine the plight of an infant who cannot hear. What becomes of their sense of emotional security? Imagine if the mother is also hearing impaired. What would be her dilemma to know the need of her newly born child.
This is the story of twenty-one-year-old Khusboo who is hearing impaired since birth. She hails from a small village of Bihar. Born and raised amidst poverty, her family could not get her treated. As she was unable to hear, not only her vocabulary but also her ability to associate with the world around her was enormously limited. Due to her parents’ lack of knowledge and no special school around, Khushboo could not study.
Khushboo got married at an early age to Iftiaaq, a daily wage labour. Despite Khushboo’s disability Iftiaaq accepted her as his wife. For the better livelihood couple moved to the Asha’s Zakhira Slum Community in the year 2015.
Her family which includes parents-in-law and husband became larger when she was blessed with two children which kept her busy throughout; but unfortunately, her elder daughter who is 3 years old, is also hearing impaired. Khushboo survived her 21 years with hearing impairment and disability to speak, thus knows the daily struggle of her daughter. Thus, she does not want to leave any stone unturned for her treatment. Since the day she started residing in the slum, she is associated with Asha. On one hand, her kids’ immunisation is taken care of by Asha; while on the other hand, Asha team helped Iftiaaq with a cashless cataract surgery, which was successful.
Her life turned another page when in the month of February, as part of a team from the Reservoir (USA), Dr Daniel Hendrix (an Audiologist) came to volunteer at Asha for a week.
Dr. Daniel met Khushboo and her daughter and performed few tests. Khushboo’s daughter had few health complexities because of which she didn’t get the hearing aid. Doctors found out that Khushboo’s hearing problem can be solved via hearing aid. Khushboo was provided a brand-new hearing aid the following day. She was stunned to hear all the noises swirling around her. Through sign language, the doctor explained to her that the word she is listening is her name. Her eyes teared up, hearing her name for the first time.
Now, she is steadily learning new words and trying to speak. She is overwhelmed to do so and at the same time is thankful to Asha. “I never thanked God enough. Asha helped in my treatment and now my wife can hear too. We hope that one day our little girl will also be able to hear” said Iftiaaq with confidence.
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