Extracurricular activities by deaf children
A highlight of the Asia Area tour by Elder Evans and Elder Watson of the Quorum of the Seventy was a visit to the Dr. S.R. Chandrashekar Institute of Speech and Hearing (Dr. SRCISH) in Bangalore, India. This institute has received numerous awards as the best Non-government Organization (NGO) in India and the prestigious Vocational Excellence Award for deaf and handicapped children. Here, disadvantaged children with speech and hearing disabilities are taught sign language and communication skills that allow them to interact effectively in society. Vocational training is also part of the schooling to assist students in becoming self sufficient and confident in the outside world.
Elder Evans and Elder Watsons visit was greeted with squeals of delight from deaf children who ran up and seemed to know these were very special guests. They were welcomed to a special day of foot racing competition and their presence made the foot races even more exciting. Unable to hear the starting bell, these young athletes had to watch for the signal to jump off the starting line. The enthusiasm of the race could be seen on the smiling faces of the cheering crowds and every participant heard in their minds the roar of approval as they crossed the finish line.
The Saviors admonition of “love the children” was kindly portrayed by Elder Evans and Elder Watson and felt by all who were there. They instantly became participants in helping the fun and excitement take place. From helping to line the children up at the starting line to special recognition on the award podium, these servants of the Lord made this race better than any other the children had run.
This warm spirit of friendship was also extended by Elder Evans and Elder Watson to residents of The Association of People with Disability (APD) which they visited that same day. This organization was formed in 1959 by seven people who had a dream of helping disabled Indians to gain mobility, self-reliance and employment. In the last ten years this organization has helped approximately 400,000 people. Like the gospel of Jesus Christ, APD’s efforts focus around helping the one to reach happiness and joy in this life by achieving their ultimate potential. Elder Evans and Elder Watsons love and care radiated to the hearts of those they greeted and left a lasting impression of true charity.