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Bharti tireless as campaigner for the deaf

By Iram Ramzan
summarized by Jennifer Reed, staff writer

Bharti Raza, a 41 year-old profoundly deaf woman has been selected for a Pride in Oldham Award.

Five years ago, Bharti, along with her husband Anjum Raza, and their friend, Waheed Chouhan, have created Oldham Deaf and Diverse Community (ODDC), a deaf “social club” that meets on alternating Sundays to encourage parents and children to develop friendships inside and outside the club.

The group’s membership has skyrocketed from 15 to 150 members since its beginning. They originally met on Union Street, but, to accommodate those in wheelchairs, they relocated to Mahdlo Youth Zone.

Bharti is hailed as “an inspiration” for serving as a “role model for deaf parents and children.” She is also “tirelessly fundraising for ODDC.”

As part of her most recent fundraiser, Bharti took her new skill of bike riding, inspired by a desire to ride with her two daughters, to create one 45 mile ride beginning in Manchester and ending in Liverpool and a second ride of 60 miles beginning in Manchester and ending in Blackpool. The events generated more than £1,100 for activities and excursions at ODDC.

Bharti was surprised by the recognition, claiming all the volunteers at ODDC “love what we do.”

Bharti acknowledges that social clubs did not provide proper communication to be an option for the deaf and she thinks it’s “great to see families and young people getting involved in a variety of activities from sport, sign language, sign songs, art workshops, fitness, drama and trips.”

Read the full story here.

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