Nothing Can Hold Us Down
Lapiadshisha, Day Olingke and Ester Nita are speech impaired girls from families with average income and studied in the Bethany Society’s Hearing Handicapped School, Laitumkhrah. Day & Lapiadshisha discontinued their formal education after failing in Xth class while Ester discontinued after XIIth Standard.
Post their school education, Day and Ester were idle at home while Lapiadshisha joined in a bakery course offered by a catholic organization in Shillong. Unfortunately, she was not so confident to take up baking as her profession.
At this point, their teacher in Bethany Society, Ms Bendre referred them to Sheela, iLEAD Center in charge. During the counseling session, Sheela was apprehensive of how the faculty and the girls would communicate with each other. Her apprehensions got cleared when she saw Anjilis, Lapiandshisha’s cousin who accompanied them to the center and was communicating in sign languages with them. Anjilis was a school dropout herself and learnt the skill with her own interest. This skill of Anjilis has become a blessing in disguise for her as the faculty suggested her to join the course along with the other girls.
Apart from joining the iLEAD beautician course, Anjilis also plays the role of interpreter and is now the bridge between the faculty and the girls trying to explain the girls. Thanks to her efforts, it has been one month since the start of the batch and the faculty never faced difficulty in explaining concepts to the girls. “First time we have admitted special students and we are very happy. They have skills and they are performing well. After this, we will admit more such girls. Thanks to Anjlis for helping us. And very soon, I also want to learn the sign language too” says Waksuk Buhphang, Beautician course faculty.
“Since my childhood, I always wanted to become a beautician but I didn’t know how, as I was poor. Thanks to my teacher, iLEAD faculties and Anjilis, very soon I am going to reach my goal. The iLEAD has given me an opportunity and I will not let it go now” expressed an emotional Lapiandshisha. The girls have become so confident that they already planned their future course of action after completion of the course. “We want to work in a parlour for some time and then start our own business. We want to partner with Anjilis and run our business” smilingly signaled Lapiandshisha who spends around Rs 40 to travel all the way from her village to the center. Though it is difficult for her to spend so much daily, she is hopeful that the amount spent is worth and would help her settle in life.