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Deaf-mute Parwan family in grave financial difficulties

Deaf-mute Parwan family in grave financial difficulties

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Feb 23, 2019 - 17:46

CHARIKARinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A family of seven people, all deaf and mute, in central Parwan province spent this harsh and long winter without having fuel or firewood to warm their two-room home.

The couple, Mohammad Hamayon, 50, who cannot speak or hear, and his wife Mahjoba, 45, also with the same disabilities, is parents of three boys and two girls, all deaf and mute.

This family seems to be in huge pains and sufferings. They apparently cannot speak and hear, but explain their stories using sign language and lip-reading.

The family is popular for deaf-mute in the capital of Parwan. Mahboba, sister of Mahjoba, told Pajhwok Afghan News that both her sister Mahjoba and her spouse Hamyon were deaf and mute.

“It was about 26 years ago when we engaged the deaf couple, their children are now also deaf,” she said.

The family spent this winter in a two-room house without having any source for keeping themselves warm such as heater or firewood.

While talking about the family’s problems and sufferings, Mahboba with a lump in her throat said the family not only lacked money to buy firewood for winter, but also enough food to eat. The family mostly consumed vegetables they had dried before winter.

She said only one member of her sister’s family, Ehsanullah, 15, was currently working in a wheat cleaning company against 100 afghanis (~$1.3) a day.

Mohammad Nasib, the family’s eldest son who is 25 years old, is jobless and has been unable to find a job due to his deafness and inability to speak.

Mahboba said Nasib has tried his best to find a job to support his family which has been in bad economic situation.

"There are very limited work opportunities for this family even in agricultureinfo-icon area. Only Nasib and his father work in other people’s farm fields in summer because they have no land of their own”, Mahboba said.

She added some people in the area also used to assist the family but not at a level to meet all requirements of the family.

Mohammad Hamayon, the father, using sing language, complained about their economic situation and no enough food for his children.

Pointing to his eldest son, he said his son could work but there were no opportunities available for him.

Talking about himself, Hamayon said he was now old and could hardly bear his family’s situation. He asked the government to help them at least in finding work for them.

Mahboba said the family’s elder daughter, Benafsha, 20, was suffering from mental illness due to deafness and muteness.

“This girl (Benafsha) has developed metal problems due to high anxiety, she throws herself to the ground to complain why they all are deaf and mute,” she added.

“Benafsha thinks they also should have a good life like others have and her brothers should have access to same work opportunities like others.”

Benafsha is the only member of the family who goes to school and walks around five kilometers to reach Hurra Jalali School in Charikar, the provincial capital, daily. She attends a class which is for people with hearing disability.

 “She is in seventh grade, all members of this family are interested in educationinfo-icon but all of them cannot go to school because it is far from their home,” Mahboba said.

Benafsha, who has learned to some extent reading and writing, solves some of her family problems through writing.

She says she is trying to improve her writing and reading so she can communicate through it and work for her family using her educational skills.

Zarlasht Mirzada, Parwan education deputy director, said currently 59 people including 15 girls with deafness were getting special education in Parwan schools.

As tears rolled down her face, Mahjoba, the mother of Benafsha, using signs said her daughter also skilled in tailoring and sometimes sew dresses for their neighbors.

She asked the government to provide job opportunities to Benafsha and her sons so they would be able to solve their economic problems.

Atifa, who is five years old and Mohammad Yahya, who is three years old, are the youngest in this family. They were busy playing unaware of their family problems, but their faces interpreted their poverty.

No one has so far provided any special assistance to this family. Local officials say they distribute relief items to the family whenever an aid distribution program is implemented in the area.

Sayed Zohor Hashemi, Parwan labor, social and people with disabilities affairs director, said he had found an organization that provided hearing devices to deaf persons and the organization had promised to provide the devices to this family.

According to statistics, more than 50,000 people in Afghanistaninfo-icon are suffering from deafness and 80 percent of them lack access to education.

mds/ma

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