Teenage girl becomes voice of the ‘speechless’
Srinagar: A 17 day old girl from Nowgam area of Srinagar is, winning hearts by proving to be the voice of the deaf and dumb sportspersons registered with Jammu and Kashmir Sports Association.
Arwa Imtiyaz, a class 11th student from Nowgam started interacting and accompanying the deaf and dumb sportspersons since the age of 12.
“I had the experience of interaction with my four family members who also are deaf and dumb. My mother, my ‘Massi’ and my ‘Mami’ all are deaf and dumb. Watching their struggle to interact with people made me more focused and committed to help these physically challenged persons,” Arwa said.
“My first school to learn the art of communicating with the deaf and dumb proved to be my mother. Since she is also physically challenged I learned how to interact with deaf and dumb from my mother,” she said.
“When I was able to understand the signs of my mother, it become easy for me to understand and interact with other such people suffering from the same issues,” she said, adding. that she has helped around 350 deaf and dumb sportspersons to achieve their objective of making themselves part of the gaming world.
“I play a role of translator for them. Make them understand what they fail to learn from other people. I make them understand everything from the rules of the game and other protocols that they need to follow,” she said.
Interestingly, the thought to help out the deaf and dumb sportspersons came to Awra’s mind when she got to know how her maternal uncle had taken up this task to make these budding sportspersons not feel shy about their handicap.
“My maternal uncle was already helping deaf and dumb people and I was accompanying him when he used to teach or help such people. It was during such sessions that I learned other important sign language and I also started to translate it to others,” she adds.
Notably, Awra has made it a point to travel with these sports persons even to outside states.
“I have been travelling with the deaf and dumb sportspersons from state to state and even outside country. I travel with them and help them to understand the various requirements or needs about the games and other issues,” says Awra.
“I have promised people like these to provide them all sorts of help as I know the pain and anguish these people face while dealing with the world,” she adds.
“I am now able to understand every sign they make and they share every problem with me. I make them understand what they feel and what they want to convey,” she said, adding that she also had faced major challenges in her life as she belongs to a financially poor family.
“I hope that one day I will become successful and make my parents and other relatives who are helping me feel very proud. I believe that disabled persons need special attention but nobody here willing to help them,” she adds.