Chitra V. Ramani
Hearing impaired have a shot at SSLC examination which is a milestone for them
Bangalore: Just 11 days after giving birth to a girl, Pushpa Ravi, under normal circumstances, should have been at home nursing her infant. But, for the 27-year-old mother it was an important day as she had to write her Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examination paper.
Ms. Ravi is one among the 32 candidates, all hearing impaired like her and coached by C.N. Vijayaraj of Samartanam Trust, who are taking the examination.
As Ms. Ravi pored over mathematics problems here on Tuesday, her husband, also hearing impaired, waited patiently outside with the baby who slept peacefully.
Before she went into the examination hall, Ms. Ravi told The Hindu, through Mr. Vijayaraj as interpreter, that this was her second shot at the examination. She said, “I was not able to pass in all subjects last year. I am better prepared now and hope to clear all subjects.” Her mother helps the young couple with the baby, who has all her faculties intact. “She is here today. I can go in and write confidently without worrying about her. I am going to finish the examination quickly so that I can rush home and feed her,” she said before disappearing into the examination hall.
Ms. Ravi had company in Swarna Satish (27) but the latter was a distracted woman. She had prepared well for the examination but was worried about her three-month-old son Sumanth who has had a bad cold back at home. Her husband Satish, a sales representative with a retail sari showroom, said it was not easy for her to prepare for the examination.
Another anxious woman was Usha Rajendar, a homemaker, who accompanied her son R. Srinivas (19), who is both hearing and visually impaired, to the examination centre. “This is his second attempt at SSLC,” Ms. Rajendar said. They have found a scribe for Srinivas with much difficulty. “It is a challenge to find someone who will be able to effectively communicate with him as he is both visually and hearing impaired,” she said.
A peon at the Income Tax Office Venkat Subbaiah (45), who is hearing impaired, has been working in the same post for the past 15 years as he has not passed SSLC. His brother Venkat Ramana described his proficiency in English as good. “He hopes to pass so that he can get a clerical post,” he said.
Mr. Vijayaraj has been helping hearing impaired candidates to clear SSLC examination for the past three years.