Let’s stop discrimination.
Namaste, I’m Parbati Maya Rana from Butwal, Nepal. I suddenly lost hearing when I was 13 yrs old.
When I first visited the hospital, I was told that I could use a hearing-aid which made me glad and hopeful but the device could only make me hear sounds and not understand even a bit. Later gradually, it totally stopped working. I was so frustrated to find out that the battery needs to be charged or changed frequently, is expensive and also not easily available. Anyway, I had to keep changing hearing aids for the desire to hear well but to my dismay, I only kept hearing and understanding a bit.
Now, you can imagine how much I would have struggled to pursue my education. I would study only by copying notes from my friends and by my own mind. I wouldn’t talk with anyone unless it was urgent. Sometimes, the teacher would ask me a question but being unable to understand, I would ask him to repeat his question. Then, he would repeat but in a much louder voice which would sound more a muffled voice in my ears. So, when I wouldn’t again understand, he would get enraged and spank me. There was no one who would understand me and I always had to take the teacher’s beatings just because I couldn’t hear or understand him. I would break in tears and wonder why it was happening only to me?
I have been always surrounded by hearing people everywhere around including my home and school, so it was obvious to come to think myself alone and adrift. I would long to understand the talks of the people around, hang out and enjoy with them but it was always the vain longing. In addition, some even used to tease me or make fun of me by calling me, ‘dumb’ despite knowing that I could speak. It would irritate me a lot but there was no point in fighting with them other than enduring the hurt. And I still hate it when people call me ‘dumb’, I want to shout loudly and tell them, ‘I’m not dumb at all. I can speak. You got it?’
Later, my parents got me cochlear implant so that it would be easy for my Bachelors level study. It also didn’t help me hear clearly but it helped me enough to complete my undergraduate. After that, I went for job hunting along with my friends but would either get directly rejected on the face or the employer would just give me false hope that they would call me later but to tell you the truth, they never did. I later found out that my fellow colleagues got the same job but l didn’t. So, I think that was no more than the discrimination against me because of my hearing loss.
I had been ignorant about my actual identity so far until I came in contact with NFHOH otherwise I didn’t know who exactly HOH are. Anyway, I have confidence that I can also work for the welfare of the people with hearing loss and I’m seeking opportunity for that. Moreover, I want to stop the discriminating attitude of this society against us and want to tell everyone not to think us incapable. Our ears might have become weak but our hands are strong enough to lift any heavy work-load. I want to question, do hands make our ends meet or the ears? Employers should provide opportunity to us as well without hesitation. Why not let the hearing staffs do the work with phone or other audio devices and we will do the rest, won’t we?
Late-deafening can happen to anyone without an exact cause. So, I think I must raise public awareness so that people suffering from it in the future won’t be discouraged or disheartened like me but be well-prepared to cope with their problem. And so for this very reason, this is also an awareness message to the readers far and wide and I hope everyone will stand in solidarity with us. Thank you!
 NEPAL Federation of Hard Of Hearing