Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad and SAHI celebrated the completion of 3 years of the Hearing-Impaired Girl Child Project along with Sunrisers IPL Team.
IPL Sunrisers team members, Rashid Khan, Carlos Brathwaite, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul and Tom Moody, joined the celebrations of over 70 hearing impaired girls benefitting from the ‘Hearing Impaired Girl Child Project’ (HIGCP), initiated by Apollo Hospitals and SAHI, three years ago at Apollo Medical College, Jubilee Hills. The project was incidentally launched by the Sunrisers team in 2015.
Also present on the occasion were Ms. Upasana Kamineni, Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Foundation and ENT Surgeons Dr EC Vinaya Kumar, Dr K Rambabu, Dr Jaswinder Singh and other consultants. The IPL team members interacted with the girls, besides playing cricket with them. The sponsors of these surgeries were felicitated by Tom Moody and Ms. Upasana Kamineni, on the occasion.
As per WHO estimates, approximately 63 million people suffer from significant hearing impairment every year in India. 4 to 5 babies in every 1000 born, suffer from severe to profound hearing loss in India. If left untreated in the first 3 to 5 years of life, these children end up with hearing and speech disorders throughout their lifetime.
HIGCP has been helping hearing impaired girls under the age of fifteen, by providing the state of-the-art Cochlear implant and performing the surgeries, free of cost. HIGCP bears the entire cost of approximate INR 8 lakhs per child. The one-year Auditory Verbal Therapy required Post-surgery, is funded by Pink Crocodile, an International NGO.
Speaking on the occasion Tom Moody said “We are privileged to be associated with a worthy cause. The gift of hearing is taken for granted by us, but the specialists here have done something remarkable by giving that hearing ability to these young children, especially the girl children and that’s very special. We as cricketers are recognized for some remarkable performances, but nothing is more remarkable than what we have seen here today.”
Ms. Upasana Kamineni said “We are really blessed to have such angels at Apollo Hospitals who made a difference in the lives of so many young kids. My husband played the role of a deaf person in Rangasthalam recently and I really know the value of gift of hearing. I thank the IPL Sunrisers Team members for being here in support of this noble cause and I want the Sunrisers to lift the trophy this year for two reasons, one because you represent Hyderabad and much more than that, for you having kind hearts.”
Dr. E.C. Vinay Kumar, Head, Dept. of ENT, Apollo Health City and Secretary, SAHI added “We have a strong rationale to focus on the girl child for this project. The reasons are varied – A hearing-impaired girl is at a greater risk of facing abuse both physically and mentally. Historically too, the needs of a female child are often neglected by parents and the prohibitive cost of treatment only inhibits them. They instead prefer to divert their limited resources to address their son’s aspirations. Also, a hearing and speech impaired girl is in greater danger of remaining unemployed, unmarried or being ill-treated at her in-law’s place”.
“Cochlear Implant Surgery will empower a hearing-impaired girl child, help her evolve into a respectable citizen, besides enabling her to achieve her dreams and ambitions. She will be able to live life on her own terms” said Dr Rambabu, ENT Surgeon, Apollo Health City & Director Medical Services, SAHI.
About Society to Aid the Hearing Impaired (SAHI)
In November of 2004, a group of ENT surgeons, audiologists, and hospital management personnel, united with concerned citizens, to form SAHI. It is an Indian NGO that aims at helping underprivileged children with impaired hearing. SAHI mainly seeks to identify and aid children living in rural areas, with little or no access to modern medical treatment. Since its establishment, SAHI has been addressing this problem by means of conducting camps in remote areas of the state. Children with learning disabilities or hearing loss are given hearing aids by SAHI and those with ear diseases are given free ear surgeries.
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