Charul is now 22 and lives with her family in Delhi. The eldest of three sisters, she is the only hearing impaired person within the family, which makes it difficult for her and her family to cope with the challenges of being deaf. All through Charul’s education, she studied in a normal school, where all the teachers and students would speak to her to communicate, expecting her to understand. Her family also insisted that she spoke as much as possible, without realising the impact that this was having on her and her education. Sadly, Charul left school after the tenth grade, as she was unable to understand a word of what was taught in the class, and, after leaving school, tried to get a government job, but was unable to pass the exam.
Charul then heard about a project for the hearing impaired supported by the charity Concern India Foundation; she enrolled but had a hard time adjusting at the centre, because it was the first time she saw people using sign language to communicate. Now, Charul has completed her courses in Indian Sign Language and English Communication Level‐1. She is currently pursuing Level‐2 of English Communication and Microsoft Office. Charul says that she wants to learn more so when she finds a job she is not only able to do the work but can excel at it.
Concern India Foundation is a registered not-for-profit helping people help themselves by making the disadvantaged self-reliant, enabling them to lead a life of dignity. Established in 1991, the Foundation today supports over 270 grassroots Non-Government-Organisations (NGOs) across India in the areas of education, health and community development. Through these initiatives it has helped bring about a positive change in the lives of children, youth, women, the mentally and physically challenged and the aged, reaching out to over 2,75,000 from the disadvantaged sections of society.
The organisation strongly believes that the disadvantaged need opportunities, not charity, and aspires to bring about a positive transformation in the lives of the most vulnerable section of Indian society. For example, its support to educational programmes has brought about a constructive change in the lives of more than 42,000 people. Through its offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune, it provides both financial and non-financial support to ordinary NGOs that show a high level of commitment to their work, but lack the time and expertise to raise finances and other assistance. The Foundation cleverly works as a bridge between NGOs, corporates and individuals who wish to support developmental work; enabling the NGOs to concentrate on their core activities.
Concern India Foundation is constantly working towards making its association with corporates both exclusive and creative for all involved. Its unique partnership models give corporates an opportunity to not just donate but to be actively involved with its various fundraising activities in different ways. Charul’s story is just one of the many success stories that have come from this remarkable organisation.
Photo Credit: Concern India Foundation