In conversation with Rohit Singhvi, a 25 year old Graphic designer who has managed to live his life as normal as he could despite being a deaf-mute since birth. Rohit is an active member and student of SOS (Sounds of Silence) organisation.
As you read the interview, you will learn a little about deafness, his life and how technology is playing a pivotal role in the education of deaf students.

Charu: Tell us about yourself and your background?

Rohit: I have been living in Delhi for the last 20 years but i was born in Mumbai. I have been living with my Family in Hari Nagar. My father is a businessman and my Mother a home-maker.I am a Graphic Designer by profession and a Commerce graduate from Shobbit University.

Charu: You must have been treated differently due to your disability? How do you see it?

Rohit: Apparently, I don’t feel that anything is wrong with me. I feel normal. God has made me like this. I am Congenital deaf and dumb and I am quite regular with it. But it’s the people around me that make me feel and act ‘Abnormal’ as if I have committed some heinous crime. Either they pity me way too much or get piqued by me for my defects that I have no control over. In the initial years of my life, I was unaware about my Shortcomings, I only understood it later on because the way I was poked and teased. Kids of my age laughed at me and I was always lampooned on by the Colony kids. But I have my parents for support. They never made me feel disabled. I loved going to School as everyone was like me but I still feel miserable about the fact that I was considered ‘abnormal’.

Charu: You always wanted to be a Graphic Designer or it just happened?

Rohit:No, It didn’t happen by accident. I’d been into drawings and painting since I was a kid but more then drawing I loved the technology behind it. I love giving life to cartoons and making them for real. I Started learning designing after my school and worked as a Graphic Designer at Batra Art Press Pvt. Ltd for last three years. At present i have an interview lined up for a government Job in the coming week. Looking forward to the same!

Charu: Can you recall any incident where you felt miserable about your disability?

Rohit: Yes, there are many incident but I take them very strongly but this one Incident quite affected me a lot both mentally and physically. Once I was travelling for my work on a bus which was an usual affair for me but that day it was quite different. It was heavily crowded and I didn’t get a seat. I had to cover a long distance. But after sometime i was able to catch a seat. However I stood up upfront just one stop before so that my seat could to be offered to someone. I went to the front. Some goons entered in the bus and they pushed me and were asking me to go back. At first, i was not able to decode what they were trying to convey. I tried to explain them that I can’t understand what all are they saying. To my surprise, everyone was watching as quite an audience and they thought I was doing it intentionally. The driver started abusing me for creating a mayhem which i didn’t. They passed lewd comments and mishandled me. I was traumatized for not being a part of them. No one came to my rescue. This one incident is something my heart can never let go of.

Charu: How did you get to know by SOS and how did it help you to outshine?

Rohit: My School Teacher at Kulachi Hansraj introduced me to Sounds of Silence team where deaf students are treated equally and given an opportunity to prove themselves with all their wits. I have made few of my best memories here. The volunteers here who teach and guide us treat us as normal as them. We are like a Family who is growing together each day. SOS motive is to reach millions of deaf students and give them elbow room to work and learn without letting their daintily come in between. We learn through Computers and Mobile phones. I have done my advanced training in computer programming and I am here learning something new everyday. SOS has many tie ups with different firms that provide jobs to people like us not by sympathizing with us but by seeing our talents and qualifications. We learn here and strive to be the best among the rest. SOS has given me a new sphere of life where i can approach things the way i wish it to be perceived.

By – Charu Dua