In an effort to provide equal opportunities to children from all walks of life, Hindustan Zinc is consciously and consistently providing equal educational opportunities and the knowledge of sign language to Hard of Hearing children through its Jeevan Tarang program. The program has so far helped over 600 students, their teachers and parents in learning sign language across 3 districts in Rajasthan.
Hindustan Zinc recently organized a special program with students of Jeevan Tarang program across Ajmer, Bhilwara and Chittorgarh. Students enthusiastically participated in activities like poster making competition, drawing competition, group dance, cultural activities and awareness on preventive measures for COVID.
Communication and languages help us connect with each other. To help the hard of hearing enter the mainstream society, sign language is an important tool of inclusion and socialization. Jeevan Tarang project involves a holistic approach towards inclusion where not just the students but also their teachers and family members are taught sign language. Through this initiative more and more students have been empowered to effortlessly integrate into mainstream education. It has also ensured that teachers and schools are able to foster an inclusive environment. Students are also taught vocational skills to be able to become financially independent and live a life of dignity.
Many hard of hearing students have to deal with daily hardships to be able to communicate and be a part of mainstream education, which often forces them to miss out on valuable experiences and opportunities. In order to change this situation and help these children approach life confidently, Hindustan Zinc in partnership with Noida Deaf Society designed the Jeevan Tarang program where the children and teachers received Indian Sign Language training through a disciplined curriculum.
One of the beneficiaries is Ram Gopal, class tenth student at Deaf School, Ajmer. Since he was young, Ram lacked the necessary learning and communication skills. He had trouble understanding the subjects without sign language. Through the Jeevan Tarang program, he as well his teachers and parents were trained in sign language.
14-year-old Tanu from Bhilwara also has a similar story but today she is an A grade student inspiring her classmates to excel in academic and cocurricular activities.
During the lockdown, the program ensured online mediums were adopted to continue regular training programs. Zoom, WhatsApp, and recorded videos were used to impart the necessary skills without any interruption.
The parents were also made an integral part of the learning process including counselling and career guidance sessions to help them learn, communicate and work with their hearing impaired children for a better future.
Furthermore, these students are also being given an opportunity to learn basic English reading and writing skills, computer skills, and personality development training under the program. Special workshops for female students were organized on menstrual hygiene management and defense against sexual abuse, to equip them with the courage and a safe space to be able to report such incidents and seek help.
The Jeevan Tarang program that started in 2017 continues to work towards a larger purpose of providing an equal opportunity & integrative environment by strengthening the educational ecosystem and improving learning levels of children with disabilities and make them employable.