Blog - Story Of Alfaiz By Sarfraj Khan – Father Of Alfaiz Khan

More than a decade ago, I had just turned double digits and was an extremely reserved fellow in nature. I was an extremely friendly person to those who knew me but when it came to facing the public, like many others, I had extreme stage fright. I avoided speaking on a public platform or any form of interaction with strangers. However that all changed with a sports meet.

I remember it was the month of January that year, since the weather was extremely chilly. Before I begin, let me mention that Suniye is a non-profit organization which helps hearing impaired people to blend in with the community at large and lead a normal life. They teach kids to learn how to speak instead of sign language. They had organized their annual sports meet for all their members who comprised largely of parents with their hearing impaired kids as well as grownups. Here, kids take part in various competitions and the winners take home their prizes at the end of the day. Needless to say, it was an extremely enjoyable affair though I narrowly missed out on winning a prize.  But that was irrelevant as the fun and experience more than made up for it.

Once the prizes had been distributed, the final event of the day took place. Every hearing impaired person present was encouraged to speak a few words to the audience. They could speak on anything they felt comfortable with. Be it related to career, life, goals and so on. The aim of this exercise was to build personality skills and develop inner confidence in the individual for the later stages of life. But of course, I was too young to understand that. When my turn came, my parents tried to cajole me to take the mike. I refused point blank and stood my ground. However, it did not end there. The then secretary of Suniye, Parvathi ma’am as she was fondly called, came over to me and tried to persuade me to speak a few words on myself. My parents joined in and all the three reassured me it was not a big deal. So I went ahead. I fumbled around for the first few seconds struggling to get the words out of my mouth. I managed to introduce myself and then I fled the spot into the safety of my parents. 

But it was just the beginning of a new journey that culminated in to what I am today. Those few minutes had provided me with a new perspective on public speaking and soon I felt the urge to replicate it. Years later, I would return to Suniye multiple times to speak at their several events and each time, it has turned out to be a rewarding experience. Parvathi ma’am is no longer with us today but her spirit and never-say-die attitude will continue to live on in the heart of every person associated with Suniye.

And I would suggest to every person who took out the time to read this to take out another extra few minutes and bucks to contribute to the cause so that we can ensure the bright future of the kids currently studying at Suniye today.

By Prateek Asnani 

Prateek who has profound hearing loss secured 85 per cent marks in class XII CBSE Board Examination, 2010. He completed his B.E. Mechanical Engineering from the Netaji Subash Chandra Institute of Technology, Dwarka, Delhi. He is now doing his MBA from University of Delh

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