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July 19, 2004

Ray of hope for deaf-mute child

From: Indian Express, India - Jul 19, 2004

Indrani Ghosh

Ahmedabad, July 19: A month after, deaf-and-mute Jyotsana Rawat (9) was abandoned by her family at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, she can finally look forward to a better life. Thanks to the District Disability Rehabilitation Centre (DDRC) in the city which is all set to provide her with every help needed to lead a normal life.

The DDRC took this step after its Nodal Officer (Mumbai) Mathew Martin read about Jyotsana in the July 16 edition of The Express Newsline.

''I was visiting Ahmedabad when the story caught my attention. As we are engaged in helping people with physical disabilities, we decided to help Jyotsana too,'' says Martin.

Following this, psychologist Falguni Parmar and speech educator Preeti Patel visited Jyotsana at the Nari Sangrukshan Gruh in Odhav on Monday. While Parmar confirmed that Jyotsana was mentally retarded; Patel said, ''She is physically dependent and has no communication skills. Audiologist and speech pathologist Dr Patel will determine whether she is deaf after examining her on Wednesday. We have a long way to go before she becomes independent.''

Meanwhile, Jyotsana has had a rough run since she was shifted from the hospital to the destitute home on Thursday. ''She had been denied change of clothes and had not been bathed either,'' says a DDRC member.

Dr Hemant Patel says, ''If the narigruh does not co-operate, we will ask the Himmatnagar Sahyog Trust to take charge.''

With offices in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Surat, Vadodara and Junagadh, DDRC is a Government organisation run by Ali Awar Jung National Institute for the hearing handicap in Bandra, Mumbai.

It seeks to provide all kinds of therapeutic aids and appliances to children like Jyotsana for free.

© 2004: Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world.