The File Photo of the Thar area of Sindh where a village of Gulsher Gorchani is also called the “the village of deaf and dumb” because half of its population is unable to hear and talk. – Photo by Shahid Iqbal

UMERKOT: Because of genetic mutation, illiteracy and official negligence, about half of the nearly 1,000 inhabitants of a village have become deaf and dumb.

The village of Gulsher Gorchani in deh 256, about 15km from Kot Ghulam Muhammad in Mir Imam Bux Talpur union council has no health facility, roads or nay means of communication.

A dilapidated building houses the only primary school and about 80 per cent people of the village can not read or write.

The villagers, worried over the increasing number of handicapped people, told this reporter that no government official, elected representatives or an NGO functionary had ever visited their village.

Haji Ismail Gorchani, Haji Muhammad Gorchani, Khair Muhammad Gorchani and Muhammad Ibrahim said that about 50 years ago there was only one deaf and dumb person in the village, but now the number has reached 500.

More than 200 children aged between two and 15 years and 300 adults are unable to speak or hear and it was now known as the 'village of deaf and dumb'.

These people can work in farms but landowners usually ask questions about crops and these people are unable to say anything and are humiliated.

MNAs, MPAs and nazims promised to provide medical facilities, build roads, schools and colleges during election campaigns were never seen after getting elected, said Ismail Gorchani, a journalist of Kot Ghulam Muhammad town.

ENT specialist Dr Ashfaq says there is hope for such people because an implant worth Rs1.7 million can enable children to hear and speak.

Older people cannot benefit from the implant and a common hearing aid available in the market will also be of no help because it helps only those who have 20 per cent hearing ability.—BoC

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