The Angels’ School
by Pranathi Charasala
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
– Helen Keller: resilient, independent, intelligent.
The first deaf-blind person to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts, Helen Keller was an influential activist for the deaf and blind, who worked for the equality for the disabled. What makes Keller an important figure for the disabled come from her unique story, from meeting celebrities like Alexander Graham Bell, every U.S president from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson and Mark Twain, Keller had the opportunities to receive a prestigious education in a time before women’s suffrage, and be heard when the disabled were not as respected.
What we don’t know is if there could have been more. More women and men who could have also changed the world, but did not because people viewed them as only cripples. Yes, Keller is a fascinating and admirable woman for her life achievements, but could they have been possible if not for her parents’ undying determination and patience to give their daughter the life they wanted her to have? The answer is no. Luckily, coming from a family with a prominent family name and a modest living situation, Keller had the opportunity to learn how to communicate with the help of her now renowned private teacher, Anne Sullivan, but how many children have the access to such resources?
The brutal truth is that in a competitive world, where there is barely any time or money to take care of yourself or your family, unfortunately, a child with disabilities becomes a burden. Up to eight million children live in orphanages around the world, 90% of which have a living parent, but are abandoned because they have a disability. Children with disabilities are less likely to finish school, resulting in them being exiled by the workforce, and therefore face a high probability of living in poverty. Education is the unique power that anyone may possess. It is the opportunity to make a better life for yourself, and no one should be denied their right to do so.
Children are children first, always. They should not have to worry about where they might find work at the age of ten. By having to worry about these problems should not be the reason for not obtaining an education, it is their basic right.
In the town of Palvancha, Kothagudem District, we are in the starting phase to tackle this problem. As a traditional school struggles to tailor to the needs of children with disabilities, we plan to build the Angles’ Special Needs Kids School, founded to for the sole purpose of providing kids of special needs with the center they need for learning.
The school plans to teach these kids necessary skills that they need in order to live an independent life. With eight rooms, teachers will have the ability to instill children with the aids they need in order to communicate and contribute to their society. They will have improved technologies to teach deaf children how to communicate, and instruments to provide an outlet for music. With a chance to explore the arts, such as music and basket making, these livelihood programs give kids abilities they can use to help their families. Livelihood programs help these unique children with necessities that normal schools will not be able to provide, through which they can learn to flourish in the world of work and hardships.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Together we can help those who feel like they are alone. We can make the world more inclusive by teaching all children through the equal education they deserve. Help us reach our goal to bring these angels the education they demand.