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Unheared Voice

Deaf and Dumb Dhadkai Village lacks

government’s sight

“Not only the government sponsored

rehabilitation agencies failed in providing
medication but they failed absurdly in
imbibing basic language skills viz a viz an
effective Special education programme to the
affected children of deaf and dumb in
Dhadkhai village of Bhalessa in Doda”.
Rehabilitation agencies failed to provide
effective special schooling
By Sadaket Malik

Despite the repeated assurances of total rehabilitation of a

Deaf and Dumb village in Bhalessa area of Doda, The affected
people continue to suffer from rehabilitation facilities like
education, health care and special schooling.

A remote village in Bhalessa, Doda seems reverberation

with the sounds of silence and government has turned nelson’s
eye towards the nomadic deaf and dumb populace. There are
340 families, which have over 95 members who cannot speak
or hear.

Fed up with the of the successive governments as well as

of the rehabilitation organizations, people of this village pinned
their hopes on the two youth of their village, who after getting
special training from National Institute of Mental Handicapped,
returned to their native place to change the lives of the
residents of this mountainous hamlet.

Jan Mohammad and Ali Mohammad, who completed their

training in June this year, have opened a school for the
rehabilitation of this affected populace. With the help of an
NGO, both were selected by the Army and sent to Hyderabad
for a special training to become instructor for deaf and dumb.

In the school, both instructors imparted special education

to the deaf and dumb but the expected result is absurdly poor
as the children were not even in a position to grasp the skills or
whatsoever the object of was. The area need special school as
envisaged by the agencies likes Rehabilitation Coulcil of India

The Rehabilitation Council of India itself is acting as a silent

spectator on the Total rehabilitation of this deaf and dumb
populace residing here. Neither the RCI nor any national
Institute has visited the site to conduct even a single
preliminary survey of the village.

The children continue to suffer and add three or more children

to the exiting numbers every year.

The village first reported 36 deaf and dumb cases in 1986, and
two decades later, the village has neither a school for the deaf
and dumb nor other facilities that can make life easier for
On an average, three children are born with such disability
every year in this village. The villagers mostly belong to the
Gujjar community and the researchers believe the disorder
could be due to marriages within the family.

The ever increasing number of deaf and dumb has reached to

92 as some more cases were detected among newborn
children during the past two months.

“We hope that they will bring some changes,” Jan Mohammed
a local villager said. He said: “Except promises nothing
concrete has been done by the authorities so far to solve our

Though some efforts were taken by the government to

ascertain cause of this congenital defect, nothing concrete has
been done so far. Three years ago, a team of scientists and
doctors came from AIIMS, New Delhi, to study this village’s
case, but no conclusive findings have been made public yet.

Earlier, The Health Department had conducted a survey

through which it found 90 such cases in the village.
Subsequently, the matter was taken up with the additional
professor of genetic unit of paediatrics in AIIMS, Dr Madhulika
Kabra, who in turn conducted a genetic study on blood samples
of the villagers. The doctor said there was no curative
treatment. However, she opined that future generations could
be saved provided villagers avoid getting married within close

However, the youth trained by the Hyderabad institute are

doing a commendable job at their level to rekindle the hope of
the populace but there is a need to set up some foreign and
language special personals specialized in the area pf special

The government neither has any remorse nor any plans up its
sleeves to cure the village of deaf and dumb people, except for
extending cooperation to an AIIMS medico for carrying out
further studies.

“Despite repeatedly raising the issue in the lower House, none

from the government has visited the village,The government is
simply not bothered about the problem and poor villagers
continue to live in shambles.The village is located in the home
town of Union health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s but he too
has turned a blind eye towards these villagers.

Not only the government sponsored so called rehabilitation

agencies failed in providing medication but failed absurdly in
imbibing basic language skills viz a viz Special education to the
affected children of deaf and dumb Dhadkhai village of
Bhalessa in Doda.

What is needed is special schooling through the special

education programme initiated by the central government
through its autonomous bodies like Rehabilitation Council of
India (RCI) Composite Regional Centres, The Ministry of Tribal
Affairs, Health Ministry, and other institutes of national
importance in so that they may seem on the mainstream of the

(Sadaket Malik is Columnist based in Bhalessa at Jammu and can

be contacted at