TEASED FOR HER HEARING DISABILITY, SHE DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL

Until July this year, Anandi was in the list of those girls who had dropped out of school. A resident of Ajmer, Rajasthan, Anandi has suffered from hearing defects since birth. Unable to hear well, she was always an easy target for ridicule from her friends and neighbors. As she didn’t go to school, and her parents spent most of their day working in the fields, her grandfather was her only friend.

With five daughters and a son in his family, Anandi’s father enrolled all his children in school at the correct age. Something that’s not very common in that region. Despite his encouragement to study, when her two older sisters didn’t show much interest in education, he got them married at an early age. One of Anandi’s younger sisters aged five, is interested in studying. However, unable to walk due to being handicapped, she cannot go to school easily.

Anandi was enrolled in the local government school in Class 1 in 2013. After 3 years of going to school, she refused to go anymore. When her father tried to send her to school again, she started making excuses and would insist on going to the fields to work with her mother.

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This year, when Educate Girls’ Field Coordinator Sanju Gurjar found out about Anandi having dropped out since a year, he spoke to her grandfather. Out of his love for his granddaughter and her wishes, he said that she didn’t have to go if she didn’t want to, and there was no need to make a big deal out of it. Sanju wasn’t convinced with his answer so she spoke directly to Anandi about it. After a while, with some familiarity and kindness, he got Anandi to share why she didn’t really want to go to school with him. As she couldn’t hear well enough, others in class made fun of her. Over and above, she couldn’t even hear the teachers well enough in class and had trouble understanding lessons. Afraid of embarrassment, she didn’t say anything.

Sanju soon informed Anandi’s father of this situation and requested him to address this with a doctor from his end. Sanju also spoke to the school teachers about it and they assured him of helping Anandi out in every way possible. They said they would would pay more attention to ensuring Anandi can hear and understand the lessons. Sanju also tried speaking to Anandi’s friends and classmates and requested them to be more sensitive of her hearing disabilities and not make fun of her.

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Following Sanju’s efforts, Anandi was enrolled back into school in Class 3 in August 2017. Anandi now goes to school regularly and enjoys being with friends again.

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