While most people chose to ring in the New Year by partying hard and traveling to holiday destinations, here is one woman who brought in 2019 by spreading smiles and giving back to society. Audiologist-Speech Therapist Devangi Dalal of JOSH Foundation, distributed digital hearing aids to 30 hearing-impaired children this New Year’s week at her clinic in Santacruz West.
Devangi Dalal, along with ENT Specialist Dr.Jayant Gandhi, has taken it upon herself to make the country free from the plague of hearing-impairment. She has been instrumental in distributing over 1000 digital hearing aids, thus far, to children from various schools across Mumbai, Nashik and Gujarat, among other cities.
“The approximate price of a good hearing aid ranges from anywhere between Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 70,000. But we do not compromise on the quality. We want these kids to have nothing less than the best,” said Devangi who distributed the aids with the help of Inventia Healthcare. "The best and the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they can only be felt… I feel glad I was able to start my year nobly and with something that gives me more joy than anything else ever can. I want to enable and empower these kids so that they can hear and speak, attend normal schools, and grow up to function as normally as you and I do,” she added.
At the distribution ceremony, Devangi also conducted an interactive session with the kids where she was seen motivating the children to speak, not in monosyllables, but in complete sentences. “Hearing and speaking is a symbiotic process. Often, we notice that people who cannot hear are also not able to speak proficiently, as when you cannot hear someone, what will you answer them!” she exclaimed.
Indeed, hearing impairment in India is an important issue, with 6.3% percent of the population being hearing-impaired, out of which 60% are children that needs immediate addressal. All that a parent needs to do is a simple test and get their children hearing aids. Digital hearing aids are better because they can be customized to the user’s requirement. These allow for people to hear soft speech louder and ambient sounds softer.