Central scheme brings cochlear implants within reach of the poor

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on September 18, 2019 Published on September 18, 2019

Children born with hearing problems to poor parents can get cochlear implants done under a focused scheme of the Centre. According to the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Krishan Pal, so far, 2,065 devices had been provided to needy children, who were either born deaf or had hearing loss.

Speaking at the national summit for Divyangan here, he said, thanks to the scheme many parents had the chance to hear their kids say ‘papa’ and ‘ma’ for the first time. He said the Modi government had increased the number of divyang categories from 7 to 21, to enable more people to benefit from the various schemes.

The Minister said 189 hospitals across the country had been empanelled to implement the scheme to provide cochlear implants alone. Saksham, a non-profit body, had come forward to help in the implementation.

The Centre has also issued Unique Disability Identity Cards (UDID) to 31 lakh people. The UDID is expected to help streamline the tracking of the physical and financial progress of the beneficiary at all levels of implementation, from the village to block to district, state and national level.

Krishan Pal said Saksham had decided to start Divyangan Seva Kendras in every district. The Disability Seva Kendras would initially be set up in 150 districts. These resource centres would create awareness about disability schemes and services.

Reservation in vacancies in government establishments has been increased from 3 per cent to 4 per cent for certain persons or class of persons with a benchmark disability. The reservation in education has been increased from 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

Besides, 1,600 railway stations had been made Sugandh (hygienic) for the benefit of the disabled.

The Government is also making arrangements to make the latest and most advanced devices available to the disabled. “We have tied up with organisations in Germany and England to produce these advanced devices under the Make In India programme in Kanpur,” the minister said.

Published on September 18, 2019
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