Deaf Reach Home Amid Lockdown

23 Deaf individuals from Delhi and Haryana were helped to reach home safely in Madhya Pradesh amidst the lockdown.

23 Deaf people from Madhya Pradesh were working in different parts of Delhi and Haryana. They worked in private companies and were stranded due to the lockdown. They could not go back home before the lockdown was announced. It was reported on 29th April that 23 deaf had been stranded and they had sent messages with photos saying “help me, I cannot hear or speak.” After that Mr. Gyanendra Purohit Director of NGO Anand Survey Society and his wife Monika Purohit, got in touch with them. Gyanendra Purohit said, “They were finding it difficult to survive. When it was announced that the lockdown would enter the third phase, they became restless and just wanted to come home.”Mr. Gyanendra Purohit’s NGO had been showing the problems of these people on social media. They got in touch with Haryana Police Officers, Delhi Police Officers, and the MP government. They planned the rescue through video calls and emails. 

Communication was a major challenge and that messaging and video calls with sign language were the way to be connected with them. It was fortunate that they had smartphones and so video calls and GPS could be used. A police officer from MP staying in Delhi also helped. With his help, the deaf from different parts of Delhi and Haryana were transported to one meeting place to pick everyone up. But getting them together in one place was a challenge. Three of them were from containment zones, there were network issues and few were from areas where buses cannot enter.

The rescue was planned for 4th May early in the morning. Then it was the responsibility of Mr. And Mrs. Purohit to wake them through video calls and see to it that they reached on time. One of them was far from the meeting point, so he started walking at 2 am. Everyone was picked up from 6 spots. They were then taken by bus to Gwalior and from there the deaf would be sent to their homes in different parts of MP in different vehicles. Technology such as social media, messaging and video-calling apps proved to be a boon as it helped authorities rescue the deaf.