- Disabilities & the Disabled
From silent to popular
Jahanara Begum (28) was born at Habashpur village of Rajshahi District, Bangladesh into a very poor and struggling family. At first her parents didn’t recognize that she had speech and hearing disability, but later on her parents realize about her problem. Her parents tried but she couldn’t enroll into school due to lack of education facility and teachers were not cooperating. But due to her strong will power no one could stop her and she entered in a non-formal school. Now she has a happy family with two daughter and husband.
At 2010 field worker of a local NGO find her and she became a member of Rojonigondha female Self-help group. During that time she just joined into the meetings but didn’t participate actively as she couldn’t express her opinion due to communication problem. She couldn’t interact with other group members as she has speech and hearing disability. Even she couldn’t communicate with her husband and daughters. And most of the time she tried to avoid society people as they made laugh at her.
At 2012 Jahanara received a ten days training on sign language from Dhaka under a project. Field workers started sign language training with other group members and her family members in small scale so that they can communicate each other. As a result now she expresses her feelings with other group members, family members and community people. Now she actively participates in group meeting by using sign language. As a result her confidence level increases and now she participate in different decision making of family and group. Her neighbors also very excited to see her new look and they encouraged her for participating in different social programs. Besides that now she also goes to union parishad with other group members and tries to communicate about their rights.
She is now contributing her family for economical solvency by continuing poultry, cattle rearing and handicrafts. Her daughters are now going to school and her family is running smoothly for both her and her husband’s income. By sign language she expresses her feelings that, she is great full to her group members and those who teach him sign language. Sign language changes her life a lot and now she can communicate with others.