Hearing from the heart!
Hearing from the heart!

San Bahadur is quite popular in school. Besides being good with books, he also has a passion for cricket. His friends cheer for him when he is on the cricket field with a bat. San Bahadur enjoys the attention, as any 18 year old would.

But San’s life took a painful turn when he was an infant. “He wasn’t born deaf,” his mother remembers. “He was such a sweet and a smart boy – spoke Nepali, our native Rai dialect and even a bit of Hindi when he was just two-and-a–half years old.  He suddenly developed very high fever, and around noon of the second day, he lost his speech, stopped moving and became very pale.” Phulmaya, his mum, tries to stop her tears as she tells the story.  

The family did everything they could to heal this little boy. Like all in their village, they turned to a witch doctor. Anything and everything the witch doctor demanded in exchange for San Bahadur’s treatment was fulfilled by the poor family. After a year they gave up. The following year, San began to walk a bit with a help of a walking stick, but he lost his hearing and speech for life. Phulmaya felt completely helpless. To add to her miseries, her husband left her and San.

San was at first sent to a regular school, but repeatedly failed in the yearly examination.  He had almost given up when, three years ago, NCDWS (a UMN partner organisation in Sunsari) admitted him to a special school for children suffering from hearing impairment.  He is now studying at Grade 3 level, and is doing very well. He is so happy to be with friends like him.  

UMN supports San Bahadur with NRS 900 (USD13) a month.  His strong-willed mother sells food to construction workers in a nearby construction site to take care of other household expenses.  She never gave up on San. Her hope, like that of any other mother, is for the best life possible for her son. “I know he will do very well in life and will make me happy” says Phulmaya, with a proud grin.  

San cannot hear the loud cheers of his friends in the cricket field, but he smiles back at them. He can hear it in his heart!

Story by Vijeta Manaen

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