What does it take to make a Champion ?

Focus , dedication , grit and determination – all of which Shreyas has put in a large measure over the last decade or so. From what was a passing or casual interest in swimming it grew into an all- consuming passion in his teenage years. Shreyas came to CSED as a shy, innocent but happy-go-lucky 4-year old. He was diagnosed with having a severe - to - profound hearing loss in both ears. After joining school and having been fitted with proper hearing-aids , a whole new world opened up for this young boy. Although not one to excel in his studies, he grew up to be a confident and self-possessed youngster – always ready to have a conversation and talk to people. Ironically enough, Bhakti Samel , his class teacher over the latter years , has a unique tale about her one-time ward. Believe it or not - as a child he disliked going into the water. He would sham illnesses, stomach aches and even become tearful to avoid the swimming period. Today, Shreyas has come a long long way. With a lot of support and mentoring from his coach , another renowned deaf ex-swimming champion – Taranath Shenoy, he has represented India in the 20th Deaf Olympics Games held in Melbourne in January 2006. Shreyas Parkar has long since overcome his hearing disability. He has completed his SSC examinations in 2005. His prime concern is to win more national swimming records under his belt. We, at CSED, wish him lots of success and happiness in the years to come.

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“At three, Abhishek was not speaking at all. When he left CSD after four years, he was speaking like any other boy! The school has been a Godsend. It has helped him stand on his feet and taught us to cope.” - Mother of Abhishek Shome, former student at CSD

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“ Amruta came to CSD at four years of age. With good auditory training she became an oral child and it was decided that she was suitable for a cochlear implant. Today, Amruta comes to MAITRI for intensive one-on-one auditory verbal therapy in the mornings. Her afternoons are spent at CSD with other children. We hope to move her into a regular school this year.” - Mother of Amruta Abhijit Sathe

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” The journey from knowing that our child was born hearing - impaired to the acceptance of the same was very difficult for us as parents. But we realized that we were the chosen by God to nurture, love and care for His most precious child our daughter Ria. And further, that He had faith in us to mould our child and to bring out the best in her. In the early years of her life, Ria could hardly communicate. She was a child lost in her own world. But when Ria, joined The Central School for the Deaf, our lives took a positive turn after which we never to looked back. It is then we understood and appreciated Ria’s hidden potential to communicate with us. Despite her initial progress, it was soon clear that the input of sound which she received from her hearing aids was not as beneficial to her language and speech development as we hoped. After much thought, and a lot of encouragement from the school, and Dr. Milind Kritane, we agreed to a cochlear implant for our child. The school prepared Ria for the entire hospitalization and surgical procedures so well that she went through the procedure cheerfully and with confidence. After the cochlear implant, she has become happy and out going child .I remember the first time she ever responded to my calling out ‘Ria’, I had tears in my eyes. I knew that we were on the road to further progress. I even got in to the habit of separately calling her by her name. So much so that once she got a bit annoyed and retorted-“ What Mama? You keep calling Ria Ria all the time. It was and continues to be a wonderful experience. Watching our child grow with confidence in her ability to communicate with people and friends, has been an experience for which I have no words. With each day we watch her develop her speech with joy. Never mind that she chatters nonstop!! Some time ago Ria and her Father went to the car dealer as we had decided to buy new car. We had zeroed down on a Red Indica and were about to have a test-drive. Ria saw a Blue Indica. and told her father very clearly “ I want a Blue Indica.” He was thrilled, and so we now have Blue Indica. The school has been a temple of knowledge and a series such beautiful experiences for us. We as parents know that Ria has a long way to go in life. Given her willingness to learn and the dedication, encouragement and teamwork of the school teachers and the Management, who have stood by us like pillars of strength, we have no doubt that our Ria will grow steadily into an independent individual and cope with the outside world on par with her normal hearing peers. " - Nishita (Kharkar Ria’s Mother )

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