High school students from Batley in Indiability experience

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batly-schoolsTen students from Batley Girls’ High School and Upper Batley High School have recently returned from a life changing visit to India. The students visited and stayed at a school for the deaf and hearing impaired in Navsari and also a school for the blind and visually impaired in Saputara.

They worked with students living with various disabilities and helped them to undertake activities including sports, arts and teaching English.

In order to make the visit possible, the students from Batley Girls’ and Upper Batley High Schools spent three years fundraising. As a result, the schools in India benefited from a donation of funds towards a physiotherapy room and for meals on a special day every year.

Zainab Patel, a Year 13 student at Batley Girls’ High School, said, “This experience was immensely rewarding as we forged unforgettable friendships with the children. We were able to teach them new games, songs and new hobbies that they had never experienced before and will be able to cherish.

“At the school for the deaf and hearing impaired, the students welcomed us and patiently taught us how to communicate through sign language. We were able to witness the time and effort the students put into preparing for a cultural show.

“The school for the blind and visually impaired was a completely different experience. We had to use different methods of communication, including using Gujarati, to communicate with the children. At this school we focused on more sensory activities to allow the children to touch and feel the objects they were playing with.”

She added working with the children and sharing similar experiences led to appreciating everything we take for granted.

Atyab Ranguni, a Year 10 student at Upper Batley High School said: “Indiability 2015 was a life changing experience.  Working with the children, it made us ponder over our life and realise how lucky we are to have everything we need and want.

“As a group, we were shown the reality that developing countries don’t have what we have. We have cold clean water, plenty of food and nice clothes to wear but in India they don’t. We should be grateful about every little thing we have. Not all young children here are able to attend school and get an education.”

Zainab added. “We have many memories of this trip which we will remember forever. Indiability has shown us the importance of teamwork, compromise and empathy. The children at both schools taught us how important perseverance and motivation are because, despite their disabilities, these do not stop them from achieving their dreams.  They are an inspiration to us all.”