Mission

Enabling a Life of Full Potential for our beneficiaries and helping them lead lives of inclusion and opportunity in the mainstream.

We are a hub for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have communication disorders. We envision a future in which hearing status and speech challenges do not impact one’s ability to communicate or reach life goals or participate in larger community.

Sanket Foundation is a registered charitable trust that works with the deaf people in India. It aims to enable the deaf to realize their full potential and help them lead lives of inclusion and opportunity in the mainstream.

Sanket Foundation was registered as a trust in Februrary 2013 in New Delhi, under Registered Trust Act, Government of Delhi, Reg. No. 4/4/4278. Sanket Foundation is registered under section 12A of Income Tax Act –1961, and has tax exemptions approval under section 80-G (5) of the Income Tax  Act,1961 (according to this 50% of all donations made to Sanket Foundation are exempted under section 80G of the Income Tax Act).

The Issue

There are 18M deaf people in India who combat a variety of oppositions in life-in education, access, communication and in opportunities. There is a variety of literature documenting the frustrations deaf Indians encounter while trying to improve their quality of life. Main reasons for stereotyping and exclusion of deaf are: Stigma, Lack of acceptance by the parents that the child is deaf and therefore not dealing with it early on, ignorance, language barriers.

A newspaper article of April 2015 stated that a miniscule number of 8,449 disabled students out of over 15 Lakhs students are enrolled in 150 top Indian Colleges. Of this, 46% had orthopaedic disability, 32% had visual impairment and dismal 5% students were deaf and hard of hearing.

Approximately 1 of every 1,000 infants is born deaf while 6 of every 1,000 are born with some degree of hearing loss. Of the 5 lakhs babies born deaf worldwide, 1 lakh is in India.

 

 

 

 

AT A GLANCE

There 18 million deaf people in India. 90% of whom are uneducated

Of the ones that go to school, 50% drop out by the age of 13 due to inability to cope with the learning environment.

A dismal 5% of all disabled students enrolled in top colleges are deaf or hard of hearing, whereas 32% of blind students are enrolled for similar programs.

AT A GLANCE

The basic impoverishment of deafness is not lack of hearing, but lack of language. To illustrate this, we have only to compare a 4-year-old hearing child, with a working vocabulary of between two and three thousand words, to a child of the same age but profoundly deaf since infancy, who may have only a few words at his command

The poor foundation is compounded by poor quality of education in deaf schools where the students are unable to learn effectively. Lacking academic success – a precursor to getting higher degrees and certificates, most of the deaf people are unemployed; and if they are not, they work in unskilled labour intensive jobs.

In daily lives, the deaf people face access barriers – for example, visiting doctors or even for simple tasks like buying a metro/bus ticket, they do not have the ability to communicate their needs.

Of these 90% babies are born to hearing parents, who generally are unaware of how to deal with the deafness, or even when they are the solutions presented to them are unviable. In many homes, due to a stigma attached to deafness, or the believe that it is a result of a curse for their “sins”, many parents do not even disclose that their child is deaf.

This has devastating long lasting effects on their deaf child. Most of these children have missed out on language development in the critical first there years of their lives. This in turn has a negative impact on the social-emotional skills and literacy skills all of which form building blocks for a life of full potential.

In many cases there are deaf children who do go to schools in India, but they are playing catch up for the rest of their lives. With efforts to “normalise” a deaf person who have little or no auditory inputs, most educators and specialists in India spend all their efforts in making a deaf person speak. As a result of which, deaf children often fall behind their hearing peers. For example, as one study reported that, during 15 months of intensive speech instruction, a 30 month old deaf child was able to learn one word a month compared with hearing children spontaneously learn from 60-120 words a month between 30 and 48 months of age. Deaf children whose language is very delayed may show learning patterns similar to younger hearing children, not due to deafness per se, but due instead to a significantly delayed rate of language growth. This not just creates communication isolation, but hinders academic success and cognitive learning which lays foundation for success in later years.

The poor foundation is compounded by poor quality of education in deaf schools where the students are unable to learn effectively. Since academic success is a precursor to getting higher degrees and certificates, most of the deaf people are unemployed, and if they are, they work in unskilled manual labour intensive jobs.

In daily lives, the deaf people face access barriers- for example, visiting doctors or even simple tasks like buying a metro/bus ticket, they do not have the ability to communicate their needs. Even in cases where technology can be easily provided for access to information like providing captions and subtitles, or video based communication, there is very little done in this area.

The Solution

We remove barriers to achievement through education and complimenting the efforts, under a single umbrella by working towards related activities and services and partner with other NGOs where applicable. Its areas of focus will be related to the following:

  • Early Childhood Development and Curriculum Support (First Steps):

    First Steps is an Early Childhood Development Center for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, ages 0-6 years. Our goal for every child is the development of age-appropriate cognitive, communication, language and social skills that will prepare them for school and lay foundation for later year success.

    We work in a team of parents, special educators and specialists in communication and audiology services that provide integrated services to meet the individual learning needs of each child.\


  • Education Support Programme leading to higher education or vocational training:

    Sanket Foundation will provide support services to deaf and hard of hearing students in either deaf or mainstream school, by providing them support in areas to bridge the gap in academic learning and to help them reach the higher academic level, including obtaining college and university degrees. The areas of focus will be:

    a. Curricular Support Services & Individualized Education Program (IEP) for School going children: This programme will provide support services to deaf and hard of hearing students in deaf and mainstream schools to bridge academic gaps through individual and extra instructions outside of the classrooms.

    b. Preparation for Higher Education: Students that graduate from school will be given the support needed to apply to colleges and universities or any vocational training if they choose to.

  • Employment – Training for employment opportunities, training at the workplace for inclusion and sensitivity:

    Sanket Foundation will work towards raising awareness among employers and industry in general to the availability of skilled human resources among the deaf and hard of hearing population. Other programmes will include:

    a. Training services: Most deaf and hard of hearing adults are don’t have degrees and certificates that are essential fro them to get jobs, or are not trained enough to enable them to excel in their jobs. Sanket Foundation aims to bridge the gap by either providing the training or working in partnership with other organizations to enable this training.

    b. Employer programme: Sanket Foundation will raise awareness among employers of available human resources among deaf and hard of hearing population, as well as train them to ensure an effective work environment.


  • Access, Advocacy, Awareness Building and Community Development (AAAC):

    Access for communication needs at public places that use spoken announcements through written announcements, captions or interpreters, building awareness of communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing population, and advocacy for rights of the deaf and hard of hearing people.

    It is the endeavor of Sanket Foundation to bridge the gap for communication needs by working with these organizations and helping them understand needs, so that they can serve the deaf and hard of hearing people better, through better signages and interpreters. Captions need to be provided on television so that Deaf people may have equal access to information and entertainment.

Who We Are

The founders and partners, along with our team of people work together to deliver solutions

Founders:

Tina Saighal (B.Arch, MBA): Founder Trustee: is hard of hearing and has professional experience of over 15 years as an architect in India and then as a management consultant in Private Equity firm in London. She has experience in helping ventures with launching new businesses. She has served on the board of trustees of Royal Association for the Deaf People (RAD), in London, UK for over 5 years.

Mandeep Saighal (B.Ed): Trustee: Mandeep Saighal has over 25 years of experience as a teacher and lends her experience in best practices in education.

Partners:

We follow best practices available to us, through our partners.

Noida Deaf Society (NDS): They are our training partners for sign language courses and other advisory services

Vaani: They are our technical partners in training our teachers and for best practices related to education for the deaf children. In addition they provide advisory services for mobilization, and other related services for long term growth and best practices.

In addition we have partners who assist us with financial, technical and administrative services:

The Works (Interiors), Starr & Co., Anega Bawa Photography

The advocacy scope of Sanket Foundation covers the areas of early childhood, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, women empowerment and more – improving the lives of deaf and hard of hearing Indians. Sanket Foundation will carry out its advocacy and awareness building programme through coalition efforts with deaf and hard of hearing organizations, as well as coalitions representing national cross-disability organizations and other related organizations.

Community development activities will bring the activities of deaf and hard of hearing to the fore-front, be it related to film making or sports.