Andhra Pradesh

37 years of service to the aurally-challenged

Students with aural defects participating in a group event at Helen Keller’s High School in Kadapa.  

What began as a humble attempt to reach out to a mere 10 students with hearing impairment in 1984 has now transformed into a mega institution.

Kadapa-based Helen Keller’s High School for the Deaf and Rehabilitation Centre has provided livelihood to hundreds of aurally-challenged girls, with many of them in government jobs today.

The admission of a mere 10 students in 1984 did not sap the morale of its founder P. Dowlath Khan, who continued to put his best foot forward to help the students.

Humble beginning

It had become a high school in 1992, a junior college in 2006 and, finally, transformed into a degree college in 2016.

Over the last 37 years, the centre has come to be known as the epitome of social outreach for children with aural defects, helping more than 1,500 children pursue an active livelihood.

“The sight of five children of a family, all having hearing defect, in my neighbourhood made me and my brother think of an institution that takes care of their needs. My mother, an Urdu teacher, guided us in pursuing our dream, due to which we founded the institution,” Mr. Khan told The Hindu, as the institution entered its 38th year.

Special teachers

Apart from catering to the needs of such students, the institution has also taken a giant leap by creating a talent pool of special teachers.

“We launched D.Ed Special Education (hearing impaired) course in 1997 and B.Ed in 2006. By this, we have created a talent pool of special teachers for training the students in the future,” said principal Masooda Begum.

Thirty such teachers walked out of this school’s portals to serve in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, she added.

Awards galore

In recognition of its outreach, the school won the Central government’s award in 2007, a national award for child welfare in 2006 and the State government’s ‘Best institution award’ in 2004, apart from bagging district- level awards six times.

The school is open for admission to children with hearing impairment from Chittoor, Anantapur, Kurnool, Nellore and Prakasam districts.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 10:32:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/37-years-of-service-to-the-aurally-challenged/article35711848.ece

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