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More than Words

  • Adarsha Shaulah Yuwak Higher Secondary School is managed by 49 year-old Dayaram Maharjan. Unlike other schools, disabled children are welcome here.

  • A music teacher teaches a young student how to play a traditional percussive instrument

  • Some of the teachers are also blind but that does not affect the quality of teaching. They use a stencil to guide their students.

  • The disabled children that study at the school also reside in the Disabled Services Association, which was also founded by Maharjan. The hostel currently houses about 44 children.

  • The disabled children have a special classroom for certain lessons. The blind students, however, join the normal classes where they use braille textbooks translated by Maharjan.

  • Maharjan engages the blind students in a music class, singing Newari songs to them. The classes, which take place every evening, are usually instructed by a local teacher, but during the holidays when he has free time, Maharjan leads the classes himself.

  • Maharjan stresses the importance of equipping these children with different skillsets, aside from having a good education. He hopes that the music, knitting and basket-weaving lessons will help his students function independently in society.

  • Maharjan stresses the importance of equipping these children with different skillsets, aside from having a good education. He hopes that the music, knitting and basket-weaving lessons will help his students function independently in society.

  • Deaf students have art classes every morning (from 7 - 9am) before school starts.

Communication involves more than just spoken words. People often forget that our actions, our expressions, and our gestures sometimes convey way more than what mere words can. At the Disabled Services Association in Bungamati, run by Dayaram Maharjan, the children are limited by their disabilities - be it blindness, deafness or muteness - but they are still able to convey the same messages to their friends through signs and actions. When I arrived at the place, I was unsure about how I was to communicate with the children. But all of my uncertainties were dispelled when I was greeted by wide toothy grins and numerous hands curiously exploring my camera. Some of the girls even taught me the basics of sign language through gestures and scrawls. Though I barely spoke to the children, there was a form of unspoken understanding between all of us through our actions and gestures.