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December 7, 2018

Nestled in a silent corner right at the entrance of IIT Roorkee, Anushruti - Academy for the Deaf was established on November 11, 1989 at IIT Roorkee (the erstwhile University of Roorkee). Originally founded as the Roorkee School for the Deaf by Prof. S. C. Handa, a professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, it was later renamed to Anushruti. The word ‘Anushruti’ is an amalgamation of ‘anu’(small) and ‘shruti’(sound), and throughout its altruistic journey of 29 years, Anushruti has been actively engaged in the nurturance of children with hearing impairments. It started operations with Mrs. Handa being the first president and their son being the first student.

One of the primest and noblest social initiatives of IIT Roorkee, it is the first such organisation catering to the hearing-impaired to be based within an institute of national importance.

Watch Out spoke to Mrs. Parvati Pandey and Dr. Tashi Nautiyal about the philosophy behind the school, its functioning and about help it could use from students of the institute.


The philosophy behind anushruti

Formed with the motivation to help children born with aural impediments adjust and rejoin mainstream society, the school is dedicated to bringing such people under its ambit.

For an unattended hearing impaired child, the process of learning and comprehending unfamiliar concepts is a daunting task. Having their faculty to hear and articulate words underwhelmed leads to a multitude of cognitive barriers, ranging from limited vocabularies to an inability to grasp complicated sentences. Another pressing concern is the prevalent lack of understanding and diagnosis of these problems by parents. Because hearing issues aren’t obvious and readily identifiable, they often go unnoticed and ignored until it’s too late, exacerbating them. These issues necessitate interventionist measures to adapt and change educational techniques so that the development of these children is ensured to be at par with the mainstream. This is where specialised schools come into the picture.

Anushruti has taken up the initiative of providing free assistance to these children at the tender avenue of pre-primary school, where the impact of adaptive education is most profound. The school provides full fledged education, ranging from pre-nursery to class 8, upto which it is registered. Due to the students’ unique requirements, they are also supported through class X and XII if the institution is approached. The school also functions to provide a moral and emotional support system to its beneficiaries, catering also to the students who have graduated from the school for their professional and personal needs.

Anushruti is also engaged in providing free diagnostic, audiometric and speech therapy facilities to the community. The intention is to develop a centre which may provide free diagnostic and therapeutic consultancy regarding aural and oral problems to the proximate demographic of people residing in nearby areas. The audiologist-cum-speech therapists associated with Anushruti, working in tandem with interns from the Himalayan Hospital, Jolly Grant, are agents that actuate this humanitarian vision.



A) Admission process

The process begins with the filling of an application form, made available free-of-cost at the school’s office. Awareness for the same is generated by educational drives, visits to areas to make people cognizant and by personal reference of students who might benefit from the architecture of the system put in place by the school. In supplement to these awareness drives, volunteers from NSS, IIT Roorkee also intimate the school’s authorities about students which can be helped by the school. Prospective students and their kin then have a direct interaction with the school’s team, intended for comprehensive evaluation of the prospectus and informing their parents about Anushruti’s philosophy and methodology. As these students are primarily from impoverished and destitute backgrounds, the team tries to make hesitant parents assured and comprehensive of the holistic development actuated by the school . Their apprehension regarding transport, funds, future scope etc. are accommodated and placated via intensive counselling sessions to ensure that support and help reaches those who direly need it.

B) Integration into the school

Grade-appropriate knowledge of subjects are tested via standard tests, whereas short selection tests are deployed for audiological and psychological evaluation, according to which classes are allotted temporarily. The student’s dexterity, adaptability and comfort in the classes’ environment are assessed before their teaching scheme is finalised.

C) Teaching scheme


The institution relies on modern technology and methods to help these children learn better. Standard speech and auditory equipment is complimented by computer-aided speech development systems. (Loop Induction System, Electronic Learning Wheel to name a few.) Communication is built on oral-aural techniques with supplementary usage of sign language. These techniques are used with the aim of holistically developing the student by providing mediums to engage in multifarious activities like art, craft and poetry parallel to routine education. These efforts are realised by skill and vocational development workshops covering dramatics, choreography, computer education, apparel designing, accessory designing and miming among other fields.

Primary education follows a specifically crafted syllabus tailored to the esoteric requirements of the students. The rest of the school’s curriculum is based on NCERT guidelines.


At the time of writing, 88 students are enrolled in the school, coming from nearby localities such as Deoband, Roorkee, Saharanpur, Shamli and Muzaffarnagar. The farthest serviced location is 120 KM from the school, with the child using public transport to travel the distance with their parent as an escort. So far, a total of 286 students have registered in the institution, whereas the efforts to provide audiometric evaluations and counselling have benefitted 4940 individuals.

Students have participated in a multitude of sports events including The Regional Abilympics (Organized by the National Abilympic Association of India, New Delhi), and have showcased commendable talent in regional and district cultural competitions, with participation in national events as well.

Community based- financial model

The school is structured as a community based establishment, with most of its finances being sourced from donations.Though it began as a social initiative of IIT Roorkee, the institute doesn’t have formal financial obligations to the school. In their stead, IIT-R facilitates these benefactions by making them 100% tax-free (under Section 80-G) if made through the Institute Registrar. Anyone can contribute financially to the school’s cause via this channel.

Companies,industrialists and enterprises that visit Roorkee during Thomso and Cognizance also often donate to the school as a part of different fundraising initiatives.

Rallies and deaf-awareness events bring to focus the requirements of hearing impaired children and encourage the community to contribute in some way to the upheaval of these children so that they can have a shot at a luminous future.

Being independent from the governmental machinery enables efficient utilisation of collected funds and ensures that they are wholly channeled to the students in need.


Administrative structure

A team of dedicated teachers and educators trained and specialised in interacting with hearing impaired children are involved in Anushruti’s endeavours. The teachers don’t function on a fixed time table as the curriculum of primary education for these students varies and is different from regular students. On the administrative front, the Director, IIT Roorkee is a patron while the Vice-President, Manager, Joint-Manager and Treasurer are faculty members of the institute. The constitution of Anushruti has been drafted by personnel from IITR and was ratified by the Board of Governors. The Managerial Committee is required to submit the the annual reports and audited balance sheets to IITR.

Relations with IIT-R

The community of IIT is also actively engaged with the school’s working. Certain faculty members have ‘adopted’ students; the expenses incurred as part of the child’s education are borne by them. Coaches from the institute also interact and guide students having a penchant for sports. As mentioned previously, students from NSS contribute by intimating the school about students that can be helped. Moreover, the Department of Management Studies organizes the annual ‘Deaf Awareness Week-BHOR’ every September. On one occasion, students from the Architecture Department visited the school interacted with the pupils who had a gala time forging new friendships.

The school motivates IIT Roorkee students / faculty to undertake research on the development of latest technologies to develop assertive devices and other educational teaching aids, various software’s, teaching learning material and appliances to help educate and train hearing impaired children.

Through an in-school gift shop, the school also engages in selling a variety of artistic creations from its students such greeting cards, dolls, toys and a whole paraphernalia of gorgeous objects. These works are available for purchase by anyone who wants to contribute, they need only reach the school via the designated contact number.

The school will greatly benefit from technical inputs from IIT-R’s community, which include volunteerism to take these children under tutelage and assist the school in its endeavours. The school is always on the lookout for such people, and anyone who wants to lend a helping hand towards making the world a brighter and more jubilant place for these children just have to bring their motivations to the notice of the school .

The official website of anushruti: