Two Deaf Lovers & a Caste System: A Story from Haryana

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Two Deaf Lovers & a Caste System: A Story from Haryana

Illustration: Akshita Monga/ Arré

H

aryana is a tough place for any kind of young love. A brood of self-appointed village elders watches over the movements of anyone over the age of 14, scuttling the prospect of romance even before it can spring. Two lovers from the same community shouldn’t choose each other. Two lovers from different communities had better not choose each other. Especially if they can’t speak.

The odds were never in favour of Sushil Mahla and Neelam Rani. Both are hearing- and speech-impaired. Sushil, born into a Jat family in Bhiwani district’s Garanpur village was eight months old, when he lost both hearing and speech to high fever. Neelam’s story is even shorter; she was born with these disabilities.

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