Cellphones come to the aid of hearing-impaired!

Biratnagar, November 30:

Cellphones may seem useless to hearing-impaired people but they have been using them to send and receive text messages.

The cellphones have become a handy gadget for the hearing-impaired to communicate with their friends and relatives. Though they don’t use cellphones to talk with others, they use short messaging service (SMS) to communicate among themselves.

Showing text messages sent by his friends, Mohan Tiwari, chairperson of Koshi Deaf Association (KDA), communicated in sign language that they were exchanging information through text messages. “Some people ask us why we are using cellphones when we can’t hear anything. But when we tell them how we are benefiting from cellphones, they are surprised,” Tiwari said.

More than 25 hearing-impaired people in Biratnagar, who are affiliated to the KDA, are using cellphones.

Hearing-impaired Dev Bahadur Sunuwar of Sorabhog Betaura, who is a teacher at Koshi Deaf Secondary School, said he was benefiting from his cellphone. Sunuwar has been using his cellphone to communicate with friends and relatives and also to instruct his students.

“Sending SMS has become an easy mean to relay important information,” he added.

Not only are the hearing-impaired people using cellphones, they have also started riding motorbikes after the government introduced a provision to issue driving licenses to hearing-impaired people.

“Though hearing-impaired people are yet to acquire driving license in the eastern region, they are learning to ride motorbikes,” KDA coordinator Januka Pokharel stated, adding, “We are making efforts to provide driving license to the hearing-impaired persons. We’ll ask the concerned government authorities to do the needful in this regard.”

Though there are 700 hearing-impaired persons in the district, only 136 of them are affiliated to the KDA, Pokharel added.