Thursday, January 11, 2007

Anantadevji's Presentation at India Deaf Expo


By Shri Anantadevji


For many years I have been travelling throughout India to meet thousands of the deaf. Mixing with them has given me a lot of opportunities to understand their life and needs when I have signed to them about God, spiritual values and moral importance. I have seen that many of their hearing elders, superiors and siblings have not known how to educate them and make their life better but instead have negative attitudes/thoughts about the deaf. This is a major hurdle for the deaf’s progress in their life and mind. Thus the deaf are struggling hard to cope with the hearing people though only a small percentage of the deaf are fortunate to get good support from their family or their well-wishers to stand on their feet, and be well-being, well-educated, well-developed or well-earned and to match the hearing in many things.

More than two years back I started signing to the deaf adults about proverbs. I found that these proverbs delighted many of them who wished to absorb them to make their life more meaningful. Unlike the hearing, the deaf have not known about these proverbs since their childhood because they have no power of hearing to hear about them though they can have chance to read about them.

What is proverb? Proverb means a saying, usually short, that expresses a general truth about life. Proverbs give advice, make an observation, instills moral values or presents a teaching in a succinct and memorable way.

I would like to expand four following proverbs with examples and illustrations.

1) Dependence on another is perpetual disappointment

In India many deaf persons depend heavily on others like relatives and friends. The latter sometimes thinks that they are a great burden to them. The deaf should learn how to stand on their own feet. Since they are endowed with intelligence by God, they should use it to be advanced socially, educationally or economically and dependence will not be of disappointment to them both.

2) Learning is a treasure no thief can touch

Learning is really a valuable treasure. It can give you lasting happiness and peace. What is learning? It is knowledge which you acquire from reading, listening and studying. When you have learning, no one cannot take it away from you.

3) To loan is to buy troubles

This proverb proves to be true for many deaf persons who have bitter experience of loaning to their friends. Not only them but also many hearing persons. When your friend fails to repay you the loan, you may keep bothering your friend to repay the loan and this lead to your friend’s thinking that you give them troubles. But when you need money badly, you may ask someone to lend it to you. However you must repay the loan in time. So you may not buy troubles.

4) United we stand, divided we fall

The deaf in India must realize the importance of this proverb. It can strengthen their efforts to make the hearing people to recognize their abilities as being beneficial to the society when the deaf are capable to unite strongly. They should sink their petty differences, instead of finding fault with one another, to avoid falling down into deep divisions. We can see that many deaf persons are hopeless and jobless because other deaf persons fail to unite and support them. We, the deaf persons, should try to analyse our problems to unite and interact well with one another. The hearing should set aside their negative image of us and . `Union is Strength’ should be one of the mottos of this Expo and other groups like clubs, associations and institutions.

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