'Defect-free speech, hearing India's mission'

'Defect-free speech, hearing India's mission'

Former President A P J Abdul Kalam said defect-free speech and hearing should become our national mission.

After inaugurating three laboratories at All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH) here on Friday, he said the cochlears being developed by DRDO would be ready for clinical experiments by September this year.

Recalling his visit to a private hospital in Coimbatore in 2005, when he saw children who had undergone cochlears implants and being trained to hear and speak, he said he was moved by the efforts put in by the doctors and other staff.

“However, when I heard that it costs almost Rs 10 lakh to undergo surgery, including the cost of cochlears device — Rs 8 lakh — I was hurt.

How many people can afford this kind of treatment? So I asked the DRDO to see if it can do anything about this. I hope the cost would come down to Rs one lakh once the experiments are over,” he said.

Aim

“While we are striving to treat persons with speech and hearing impairment, our aim should be to prevent people from suffering from such conditions.

There would be some genetic solution for the disability, which comes by birth, he added.
Stating that there were several conditions of mild deficiencies in hearing and speaking, Kalam said with timely and early medical intervention, deformity could be averted in several cases.

“Even though there are several ENT specialists in urban areas, there is a need for them to reach out to rural areas. Apart from that, persons suffering from disabilities should be provided equality and liberty. We should see to it that they do not feel inferior to others,” he added.

Inaugurates

He inaugurated a psychoacoustic laboratory, clinic for adult and elderly persons with language disorders and neuroscan laboratory.

Students interacted with the former President and director of AIISH S R Savithri was present on the occasion.

Hopes for ahimsa in quota

Former President A P J Abdul Kalam said he hoped for an ahimsa way to end the controversy on reservation.

In reply to a question fielded by a student of AIISH about the reservation policy depriving deserving candidates of opportunities, he said we should open more and more institutions and increase intake of students. “When available seats in educational institutions are aplenty, there is no need for reservation. I hope this will happen in India in another ten years, he said.

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