Implant adds buzz to the lives of hearing impaired

New Delhi: As Vidyashree, all of four years, recites a nursery rhyme before a packed auditorium, her parents can’t but feel a sense of pride. The audience responds with a thunderous applause. It’s no mean achievement for the girl, born as she was with an 85% hearing disability.

Like Vidyashree’s mother, many parents came forward to share their stories about how cochlear implant had changed their lives. The programme was organised by the ministry of social justice & empowerment at Vigyan Bhavan to mark two years of the Modi government.

For Vidyashree’s mother, Sapna Kishore, it was an emotional moment. Kishore’s husband runs a small cafe in Bhopal and, ever since the family learnt that their daughter had a hearing impairment, they had grappled with the problem of arranging the money for a cochlear implant.

Kishore said: “We even thought of selling our house. But when we learnt of the government scheme, we approached the designated centre in Bhopal. As we met the criteria set by the government, we were shortlisted for an implant. The operation took place six months ago.”

Another proud parent, Rohan Mangroliya, shared the story of his three-and-a-half-year-old son, Saksham. The implant was conducted three months ago and, now, the child is trying to link words. “It’s a new beginning for us. Before the implant, he could only hear loud noises and did not speak. Now, he responds to everything,” said Mangroliya.

Cochlear implant is a prosthetic device, a part of which is surgically implanted inside the cochlea. Cochlear implants have been found to be beneficial for children and adults with severe-to-profound hearing loss. The implant directly provides electrical stimulation to the nerve endings in the cochlea.

The implant is being carried out under the scheme for Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids/Appliances (ADIP) of the ministry of social justice & empowerment. The guidelines for the scheme state that a maximum of 500 children per year may be covered from across the country. The entire expenditure, with a ceiling of Rs 6 lakh per beneficiary, will be funded by the government.

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Implant adds buzz to the lives of hearing impaired

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