Many schools for blind children are very poorly equipped with teaching materials. Especially the smaller schools lack special teaching material for the blind. Therefore we supported two schools for the blind in the north of Karnataka: Smt. Ambubai Residential School for the Blind Girls and the Asha Deepa School for the Blind (ADSFB).
The Smt. Ambubai School For The Blind Girls was founded in summer 2007 in Gulbarga. The school is run by the NGO "Hyderabad Karnataka Disabled Welfare Society", which has been working for disabled children since 1990 to help them help themselves.
The founder, Professor Dattu Agarwal, went blind himself at the age of three and one of his dreams was to found a school for the blind. With the first school for the blind in the district of Gulbarga this dream came true. The school accepts children of every religion, caste and social status. With his social commitment he has already won several awards from both governmental and non-governmental sources.
The Ambubai School teaches about 40 girls aged between 6 and 14 years, mostly from the poor and rural area around Gulbarga.
In addition to school lessons, the girls are offered food, accommodation, clothing and medical care. Music, theatre, handicrafts, yoga and sports are also on the programme. Classes are held in Kannada, the usual language there. English and Hindi are also taught as foreign languages.
The privately founded school for blind children in Bidar lacks the essentials. In order to improve this situation, the headmaster asked us for teaching material. In November 2008 we handed over For all grades, teaching material for learning braille and mathematics.
The founder of the school, Mr. Dilip Kumar, is himself blind from birth and this is his motivation. for him, for the blind children from the villages around Bidar.
In 2003 Asha Deepa School for the Blind (ADSFB), a school for blind children in which they can also live, was founded. In addition to the school, regular rehabilitation programmes are carried out in the rural area around Bidar. As part of this program, a counsellor and social worker identify children with visual impairment. They are examined by a doctor and subsequently treated or cared for on a long-term basis. In case of curable blindness, further medical treatment is provided. Non-curable blind children can go to school to learn different skills.
In the meantime the Asha Deepa School for the Blindso has been able to help 45 blind children in the age group of 5-15 years. These children are usually from poor families in the villages and cannot read because they have never been able to attend school. In addition to lessons, these children are taught Braille, housing, food, clothing and medical care. The Asha Deepa School for the Blind not only offers education, but also other skills such as washing, care, cleaning, etc.. Education in music, theatre, singing and other leisure activities is also offered. In order to be able to offer long-term help, the teachers work closely with the parents of the school children and organise regular parent meetings.
Especially the smaller schools lack special teaching material for the blind. Knowledge of Braille provides children with the basis for learning languages, spelling and phonetics.
Wir haben in Indien einen Hersteller gefunden, der Lehrmaterial zum Erlernen der Brailleschrift herstellt. In dieser Firma sind selbst Blinde beschäftigt, die so ihren Lebensunterhalt verdienen können. Mit Ihren Spenden können wir dieses Lehrmaterial erweben und Blindenschulen kostenfrei zur Verfügung stellen. Aufgrund der kleinen Klassengrößen ist es möglich, für alle Schüler der Schulen, das notwendige Lehrmaterial anzubieten. Zusätzlich übergeben wir auch speziell für Blinde erstellte Spiele wie Domino mit Tastpunken.
The Braille & Mathematics Sets consist of the following teaching materials
In November 2008 we supported Asha Deepa School for the Blind (ADSFB) with Braille sets.
Also the Indian press has reported about this action of Hamara Bandhan e.V..
In 2009 we were again in India, and were able to present the small Ambubai school with Braille kits as well. Shortly after our stay we also provided mattresses for the dormitory at the request of the girls as they had to sleep on the bare floor. In addition, we were able to purchase four tricycles for the schoolyard and hand them over to the children. This wish was also expressed to us by some girls during our visit.
Here you'll find photographs of the school for blind and of the braille kits. Also the Indian press has reported about this action of Hamara Bandhan e.V..
In India, chalk is still often produced manually for teaching purposes. In close cooperation with the headmaster Dilip Kumar we set up a chalk workshop. For this purpose we provided all necessary material. This includes containers for mixing the dissolved chalk, casting moulds for the chalk, various hand tools such as spatulas and brushes. And also boxes for the later sale of the produced chalk. In the first phase, the focus is on teaching, in the second phase the production and sale of the chalk at schools in Gulbarga. For the learning phase, an external trainer is also paid, who can instruct the pupils and teachers. In the production phase, the workshop will be expanded to give more young people the opportunity to earn some money for a living.
In close cooperation with the headmaster Prof. Dattu Agarwal and the teachers Mr. Mahesh and Mrs. Sangeeta we developed a learning software for learning Braille. In the first lessons the letters are spoken and the corresponding positions of the Braille dots are explained. The children can then practice what they have learned by entering the Braille points on the number pad. With this software, the children can learn both the Latin and the northern letters of the Kannada language. The complete voice output is in Kannada, so that the blind children can learn the letters independently.
In addition to this educational software, we provided PC games specially designed for the blind. With these games, such as tennis or car racing, children not only have fun, but also improve their spatial hearing. In order to use the software, we also had a laptop in our luggage on which we installed all the necessary programs. The laptop can now also be used by teachers and children to learn PC skills.
At the end of 2009 we received the news that the Ambubai School had to be closed due to a lack of state funding. In order to gain some time until the support of the state is secured, Hamara Bandhan finances the salaries of the teachers and temporary staff in the first quarter of 2010, as well as the complete costs for the meals of the 35 girls.
We purchased a Perkins typewriter for the Ambubai School to write braille. With this typewriter it is possible to print Braille. According to the six dots of Braille, this typewriter has six keys which - pressed simultaneously - produce a letter. This Perkins Brailler is very sturdy and can be easily maintained by yourself. So the typewriter will help the girls and teachers for a long time.
The school for the deaf in Thiruvalla, Kerala, was founded in 1938 as the first school for the deaf in southern India. Since then it has been continuously expanded and accommodates meanwhile approx. 450 children aged between 5 and 18 years are taught by approx. 40 teachers in grades 1 to 12. In order to be able to better adapt to the special needs of the pupils, the class size is limited to 8 to 10 pupils.
Most children are deaf from birth, which is often due to diseases such as rubella during pregnancy or deafness of the parents themselves. Most children come from very poor backgrounds, which often makes early treatment impossible.
Für die Jugendlichen bieten wir zur Berufsvorbereitung Kurse an, um ihnen für später den Weg zur Selbständigkeit zu ebnen.
We converted a classroom for tailoring courses. We provided eleven sewing machines, furniture and materials for the lessons. In the first year Hamara Bandhan e.V. also finances the salary of a teacher, in the following years the school takes over this itself. This ensures that tailoring training can be offered on a long-term basis and independently of us.
Here you will find photographs of the school for deaf and dump and the tailoring unit und der press , that reported on this project..
The quiet times are over at the school for the deaf in the southern Indian college. Where silence reigned until a few weeks ago, the children now clap their hands to try out their newly acquired hearing. Teachers call the children's names to test their new abilities. Because those children who still have residual hearing have received hearing aids from us.
The fact that this project was successful is also due to the diverse support we received both in Germany and in India. Companies and private individuals followed our calls in the press and donated hearing aids. Ursula Burkhardt - a specialist in children's hearing aids - and a friend of hers, an acoustician, spontaneously agreed to accompany us to India and provide the children with the necessary individual hearing aid fitting. Headmaster Panicker and Isaac Kumar prepared everything in advance and provided audiograms of the children in question. The teachers Mrs. Shiny Bhaggien, Mr. Raj Rimalapudi and Mr. Johnson were very committed and agreed to organize the maintenance of the hearing aids. Guru, Sachin and their schoolmates can now experience their surroundings in a whole new way.
In mid-2009, the local care team asked us to have the hearing aids examined and serviced by a hearing care professional in Bangalore. In the meantime, all the hearing aids have been serviced and are still available to the children as a valuable everyday aid.
The Limra School in Gulbarga, Karnataka, was first visited by two members of Hamara Bandhan in February 2007. The conditions were similar to those on a construction site: unplastered walls, lack of teaching material, children having to take their lunch break on the cement floor - it quickly became clear that there was a lot to do here. In a conversation with the teachers about possible support, we learned more about the background of the school. It was founded in 1999; for three years afterwards headmistress Afreen Khan and two teachers ran the whole business in threes. In the meantime, 180 boys and 80 girls are taught by 18 teachers in the preschool and classes 1 - 7. Mathematics, biology and physics are on the timetable, as well as English, Arabic and the national language Kannada. In the 1st class Hindi is added, in the 4th class Urdu as 4th and 5th language.
Already in May 2007 we were able to implement some of the jointly developed ideas during the visit. The two most important goals were to improve the structural condition of the school and to equip it with teaching materials. As planned, five of the twelve classrooms were completed. The children received books and pens. In addition, the school now has display boards, maps and sports equipment for teaching.