Today, I was deeply saddened to hear that Mrs. Saraswathi Narayanaswamy had passed away last night. The founder of Balavidyalaya school for the young Deaf children and institute for the teacher training.
To many parents and BV alumni, she has mentored, counseled, and encourage them to seek the best for their deaf child. My father said, in her words, when my parents first met her, 'your child will achieve later on. But for now, you would have to travel a tough path'.Thus, my education in India began. From the start till the end, the school did not charge a single rupee as She believed education should be free for all and, Deaf people are capable of speaking if they go through the process of early intervention and the right resources. Madam Saraswathi and the BV staff worked together tirelessly to arm us with a voice and make our integration to the mainstream society easier.
It was also one of her goals to remove the stigma associated with the Deaf. She fought for the rights of the Deaf and mentored many students and their families going through legal problems. She continued to fight for our rights to make our life easier, to help us achieve what other people would have thought it would be impossible to achieve. She received recognition for her work internationally and in India as well.
At the end of my education in India, Madam Saraswathi conveyed a meaningful message to my father which he recalls to this day. In her own words, as my father recalled, "we might have yelled at you, but it was for the betterment of your child. We have the confidence that she would achieve in education in the future". Her words did not go to waste, it was amplified by many students achieving in all walks of life.
Countless parents and BV alumni today carry her message with us. Because of a strong belief in Deaf education and integration into mainstream society, we were able to achieve and show others what we can do. Today, the students of the BV family accomplished in various fields and continue to hang many feathers on our cap. We proudly fly the BV flag for so high for being a cornerstone for our success.
Rest in peace, Mrs. Saraswathi. We will continue to carry your message and keep the Balavidyalaya flag soaring high.