Ruma Roka was a homemaker restless to find a mission and meaning in life. One day she saw a woman interpreting the News on National TV in Sign Language. She was deeply intrigued by the use of hands for communication and decided to learn Indian Sign Language.
Learning sign language got her in touch with the Deaf community and she was deeply moved to hear their stories of daily challenge, non-acceptance by society, rejection by their own family, sparse opportunity for employment and a general lack of awareness of sign language.
She spent 2004 doing experiential learning and meeting Deaf people from all walks of life. She volunteered to be an interpreter for the Deaf in hospitals, schools and wherever she could help them access civil services. This opened up her life to a community that had been side lined from education and employment for years.
In 2005 Ruma started the Noida Deaf Society in a 2 bedroom apartment. She invested her savings and started by teaching 5 Deaf students basic English comprehension. Since then the organization has grown by leaps and bounds and has mobilized deaf youth from villages and towns throughout Northern Indian including:
- Uttar Pradesh
- Jammu & Kashmir
- Andhra Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Himachal Pradesh
- West Bengal