Muniyamma was one of the pretty ones, with beautiful brown eyes, lush eyelashes and a perfectly curved nose. Even among the village folk, she would stand out in the crowd at festivities and marriage celebration parties. Her parents had high hopes for her hand in marriage. In a place like her village, the best prize for a beautiful girl is a reputable husband who can take care of her.
When they believed they had found the right man for her, her parents gave her hand to him in marriage to in the year 1995. After a wedding celebrated with pomp and festivities, it seemed like the future was all set for her. But fate had different things in store. A year into the marriage, a baby boy was born to them, followed by a baby girl and later another little boy. Over the years they would come to realize that while the first child had normal hearing, the latter two had hearing impairment.
When the youngest one was born, Muniyamma’s husband was involved in an accident. She went to the hospital as often as she could but found it hard to manage caring for a baby at home while also trying to attend to her convalescent husband. Due to lack of communication and misunderstanding, the fatal accident also resulted in irreparable damage to their 12-year marriage, leading to their separation.
Muniyamma started taking on odd jobs to feed her three children. She went to the fields for hand weeding, helped in carrying cement for road construction projects, took to harvesting when the season came, and tried her best to obtain any available job opportunities. But even so, Muniyamma could only afford to send her three children to the government school in the village. This was of little help to the two younger children who, unlike the rest of the village children, could not discern sound of any kind. But then, when Divya was 10 years old and Mahalinga was 6 years old, they came to know of the School for Speech and Hearing Impaired and their life took a whole new turn.
Today their mother lives in a dimly lit house with a few essentials such as rice, salt, a gas stove and pots and pans. The house has holes in the roof, forcing her to seek shelter in the corners during the rainy season. But this doesn’t dampen her spirits. Her heart is filled with joy because her precious little ones are getting a burst of light in their lives through the education, love and training they receive at the School for Speech and Hearing Impaired. Today Mahalinga and Divya are active students at the school and take part in Pathfinder activities and eagerly participate in all the school programs. One can tell just by the smiles on their faces that they are on their way to great new achievements.