Shuktara home in Kolkata,India
Submitted by Alison Saracena
My friend David has a home for young people who have varying types of disability. What is amazing about this home is that the most important thing for David is to provide the kind of environment where the boys feel safe and loved. All of his boys have no family and many have had traumatic experiences prior to coming to his home so this often took some time. There was never any pressure to go to school but at some point, each boy decided that he wanted to attend school.
- Sumon Gushwami
For David’s deaf boys school was very difficult. There was little understanding of deaf culture or how important sign language is to most deaf people. These boys had no family and probably no language training whatsoever during their early years when it’s very important to start learning language. Most of them are profoundly deaf and sign language is their medium of expression. Students were expected tolip read and speak, which guaranteed failure for most of his boys. I even saw one teacher face the classwhile talking, then turn around to write on the blackboard and continue talking with her back to her deaf students.Needless to say, eventually all of the boys dropped out of school after a couple of years.
- Learning can happen anywhere but it flourishes where there is an atmosphere where kids feel safe, nurtured and encouraged.
You can learn more about this project at www.shuktara.net