CHENNAI: At the Little Flower School for the Deaf, Priya S and her friends Pavithra and Saranya are busy communicating in rapid sign language and laughing. The girls switch to communicating so that others understand, reciting their names and marks.
Scoring 357, Priya will write her English after Class XII as a ‘Plus 3’ year that is offered at her school, after which she will be ready for college. “I will do B Com and learn computers too,” she says. Her mother goes for tailoring work and her father is a daily wage labourer. “She is a bright student, and she loves to play chess. We hope to get financial help to send her to college, if not, what else can we do? We will get her married,” says her mother Shantha.
The mother and teachers hope that the students would go on to mainstream colleges, although the girls would initially be more comfortable in special schools. “We want them to come up as equals,” they say.
Little Flower Blooms
Though Nandini B cannot see the cameras focused on her, she is shy and her voice drops as she recites her marks. “A centum in social science, 99 in math and a total of 480 in English medium,” says the girl from Little Flower Convent for Blind and Deaf, who wants to become a lawyer and is eager to study history with political science.
“She has never complained or felt bad about being visually impaired, although I have,” says her mother Gajalakshmi, who works in a beauty parlour.
Her parents have not studied much, and it is her younger brother Karan who helps her study. “He even picks out her clothes,” says her mother.
Nandini is keen to study in a mainstream school and with the few schools offering humanities subjects in Class XI, she wants to go to Pondicherry, where she says, her choice of subject would be available. “I love studying history and my favourite lessons are those about Periyar,” Nandini says.