Deafness is a common problem in Indian villages and Sylvia was asked by the Government to help in 1992 She built a boarding school in 1996, where 210 profoundly deaf children are fed, clothed and educated to a high standard, entirely free of charge.
The children come to the school from the age of 4 and stay until they are at least 16. Exam results are excellent and the school is top of the district league tables. Several children have gone on to University and graduated with distinction.
Class sizes have to be kept small, with no more than 8 children per teacher. There are 24 classrooms and 35 teachers. All of the children are given hearing aids and some classrooms have audio systems.
Partly because of their deafness, the children compensate with excellent written and artistic work. The boys are superb cricketers and both boys and girls are brilliant dancers. Despite their disabilities, the children are often described as the happiest children in the world.
A dairy farm is attached to the school with 70 cows which provide all the milk for the school and the hospital.
The school also runs a 2 year training course for teachers of the deaf and 79 teachers have now qualified while over 1000 teachers from other schools for the disabled have visited.
Click on any of these photos to enlarge.
The dining room