Jammu and Kashmir [India], December 3 (ANI): Hearing and speech-impaired children in Jammu and Kashmir are a neglected lot, with the only school for them facing a funds crisis and lacking hostel and transportation facilities.
The school is run by Jammu and Kashmir Samaj Kalyan Kendra, an NGO, with the help of social workers.
While speech and hearing-impaired children in the Union Territory are in their thousands, it isn't possible for all of them to enrol at the school as it doesn't have a hostel.
The school currently has students representing 10 districts of the UT and many are forced to take rooms on rent at rates.
The majority of students are from remote areas of Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri, Poonch, Anantnag and Kupwara districts.
It was alleged that the school has not received any help from the J&K administration and has to pay Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 as rent (on a room basis) per year for the building housing the institution.
Uising sign language, students told ANI that while the school doesn't have a hostel for students coming from remote corners, there is also no transportation for them.
"I leave for school at eight in the morning and reach home at six in the evening. I face a lot of difficulty on the way as no one understands sign language," a student said.
The students demanded that the school authorities make a hostel and transportation available for them at the earliest.
The school administration said it is woefully short of funds to run the institution and even struggles to pay wages to teachers.
These children also need to undergo other vocational courses so that they can earn a living.
Since October 1980, the NGO has been working for the education of specially abled childeren, especially girls who can't listen or speak.
Its founder president was renowned social activist Dr RR Khajuria. (ANI)