Address by Governor at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of the Stephen HIgh School for the Deaf and Aphasic in Mumbai
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Stephen High School for the Deaf and Aphasic at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi, Mumbai at 4.30 PM on Saturday 9th December 2017
Dr Deepak Sawant, Hon’ble Minister for Public Health and Family Welfare, Reverend Brother Paul Raj, Assistant General, Montfort Brothers of Saint Gabriel, Rome, Shri Sudheendra Kulkarni, Chairman, Observer Research Foundation, Reverend Brother Franky Noronha, Provincial Superior, Montfort Brothers, Dr Sandra Desa Desouza, Trustee Member, Stephen High School, Reverend Brother M A George, Director, Stephen High School, Smt Olivia Moraes, Headmistress, Dr Dillon D’Souza, Trustee – Member, alumni, parents, teachers, staff, dear students, ladies and gentlemen,
I am extremely pleased to associate myself with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Stephen High School for the Deaf and Aphasic.
Sixty years of service in providing education, values, confidence and skills to special children is simply an outstanding achievement. You have not only empowered special children, you have also given great hope and confidence to parents for whom educating their child would have been biggest challenge.
It requires tremendous courage, dedication and commitment to start an institution like the Stephen School. Still more difficult it is to run the institution successfully, overcoming all the odds coming in the way, for such a long period as six decades. The fact that the Stephen School has come this far and moulded the life and career of several hundred children suffering from hearing impairment and speech loss is a tribute to the remarkable work done by the School. The School has thus given self-reliant men and women who are contributing to the progress and development of society and the nation.
I have come here to convey my deep appreciation to the School, on behalf of the State and on my own behalf. My heartiest congratulations are also due, to the Montfort Brothers, Trustee Members, Headmistress, teachers, past teachers, staff, alumni, parents, students and well wishers of the School.
The journey of Stephen School would have been impossible without empathy and vision of the founders. I pay my respects to the founding fathers Dr Joe DeSa and Mrs Nancy DeSa who started the School in the year 1957 when there were perhaps no such institutions for the deaf and the aphasic children.
The Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel Educational Society has a formidable reputation in the field of education, vocational training and education for the special children. I understand that since 1996, when the Montfort Brothers took over the management of the School, there has been remarkable improvement in the school’s infrastructural and educational facilities.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Stephen High School has been a pioneer institution working for the all-round growth and development of children with special needs. Right from the first year of inception, the School started using Auditory Training Equipment and Modern Teaching aids.
I was pleased to note that the School has various ‘firsts’ to its credit. It was among the first to start musical appreciation using percussion instruments way back in 1958.
I was particularly pleased to note that students of the School have excelled in sports and games and have also won medals at various sporting events for the special children.
The School can take legitimate pride of the fact that a past student of the School, Rajeev Bagga had won the National level Badminton Championship and is now a successful Bandminton Coach. Every special child has at least one special skill. I will therefore appeal to school authorities to identify students with special skills and nurture their skills wherever possible.
Ladies and gentlemen,
There are many areas in which we have been witnessing disruptive technological changes. India is acknowledged as a leader in Information Technology. Thanks to innovation and research, new portable hearing devises are coming to the market every year. I am confident that the day is not far when hearing impairment will be managed completely and cured effectively using modern scientific advancements.
I will appeal to Montfort Brothers to make the Stephen School a Model School for the Deaf and Aphasic by providing it all modern amenities.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi has expressed his commitment to the welfare of Divyang and differently-abled children. He has laid special thrust on skill development. I do feel that we must provide the children of Stephen School various modern employable skills that would give them an edge while competing with others.
I will appeal to Stephen High School to forge alliances with industries and Corporates and design skill development programmes for its students. This will make their integration with society smooth and seamless.
As Governor, I do feel that there should be schools like Stephen High School in every district. For this purpose, we will require qualified and skilled teachers who could impart speech training to the special children. Stephen High School should accept it as a challenge and produce trained teachers for special children.
I was pleased to note that the Stephen School has already started a Junior College for the Deaf. I am glad that the Management is also thinking of starting a Science section in the Junior College. I really hope that these plans are executed early.
Reverend Brother M A George mentioned to me that the Stephen High School is in the process of equipping its Audiology Lab by purchasing new machines. He also mentioned about setting up an Endowment Fund to enable the School to meet its recurring and non-recurring expenses.
I will ask the School authorities to prepare a proper proposal and send it to various corporates. Many Corporates have funds for CSR programmes, and I have no doubt in my mind that they will willingly support the School. I assure you that I will do my best to help the School to realize its dream.
On the joyous occasion of Diamond Jubilee, I congratulate the Stephen High School for the Deaf and the Aphasic for its noble service to society and wish it Godspeed in its future endeavours. I also convey my loving good wishes to every single student of the School.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!