First Case Study by RMF Youth Team

April 9, 2013

Dr. Rubina Mumtaz

Renaad is 3½  years old. The firstborn to Zohaib and Sara, she is the epitome of all their dreams. A young man determined to climb out of the steep walls of poverty he had the misfortune of being born into, Zohaib studied hard to get a diploma in electrical works despite working as a child laborer to contribute to his parents’ household of nine children. Armed with the diploma, he lifted himself into a respectable blue color income strata, working a decent income, met the woman of his dreams and within a year of their marriage, their princess was born. Zohaib, his pride intact, was able to fend for his family without charity.

Photo: Renaad and her parents

Their world came crashing down when their beautiful little girl was diagnosed with a congenital sensorineural type of loss of hearing where she will eventually lose all hearing by the time she is five years old.  There is no treatment but at this stage, she has just enough auditory powers that, with help of digital hearing aids, she can develop communication skills based on auditory-oral approaches where deaf children can develop their listening skills, a spoken language and lip reading. Humbled with this enormous cost, Zohaib was falling back into the pit of poverty.

He began to sell off his assets one by one until one day someone informed him of RMF’s hospital in Agra. The word was that they provide high quality health care, so perhaps they could help with Renaad.  The RMF charity hospital works on a tight budget with little leeway for large expenses like these digital hearing aids that cost USD 1175/-. Yet, our policy is ‘never say no’.

This is where the youth team came in. Charged with enthusiastic energy, they set off on the task of raising this money. First source of donations were their immediate friends and family. With their persuasive powers, they managed to raise USD 763/- between the four of them. They were short by USD 412/- and they had exhausted their circle of friends and family. So they set out to literally knock the doors of every house in their respective neighborhoods and within a couple of weeks, they managed to successfully raise the rest of the money.

So in an informal ceremony, little Renaad finally had digital hearing aids fitting according to her size and her requisite decibel. Syed Abeq, the leader of the youth team handed the set to Renaad’s parents.

Photo: Renaad and RMF Youth Team Leader, Syed Abeq.

The delight of the event was the expressions on Renaad’s face as she heard sounds coming from all directions; expression that ranged from confusion to surprised smiles to questioning looks but in the end, the jumble of new sound reduced her to  tears and solace in mum’s arms.

Photo: Renaad, her sister, and Dr. Rubina Mumtaz

The audiologist instructed the parents that she needs to be slowly acclimatized to the sounds around and care should be taken to protect against loud jarring noise.