157 hearing aids distributed among children with hearing impairment as part of ‘Project Shruti’

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The Ahmedabad District branch of the Indian Red Cross Society on Sunday organised a small ceremony in Ahmedabad to aid children with hearing impairment. Some 157 children who had hearing impairment by birth were given hearing aids manufactured locally by a homegrown startup, WeHear. WeHear had launched project Shruti to identify and examine children with hearing impairment and give them HearNU devices.

Social worker, Smt Sonal Amitbhai Shah was present as the chief guest at the ceremony whereas Smt Rishita Jay Shah was the guest of honour. Mr. Rakesh Vyas , DEO, Ahmedabad was also present at the ceremony along with Shri Ajay Patel, chairman, Indian Red Cross Society. As part of Project Shruti, WeHear and Indian Red Cross Society have jointly tested and distributed the device among 256 hearing impaired kids. With the help of the device, kids have started hearing and speaking.

Similarly in Ahmedabad District, the organisations have identified beneficiary kids, who will be
given HearNU products. Sharing her views, Smt Sonal Shah, said, “I never knew that the Indian Red Cross Society is not just a blood bank but also has an efficient laboratory space to support elderly care. The effort by WeHear to enable kids to hear with bone conduction is worthy of appreciation. We are
grateful to the educational institutions and the teachers who gave voice to these kids’ problems and informed the IRCS about it.”

Addressing the gathering, Smt Rishita Shah, said, “When I was a college student, the team of Indian Red Cross Society would invariably come for Thalassemia check-up as well as blood donation camps. The IRCS team also organises a blood donation camp on my father-in-law’s birthday. Today, these children with hearing impairment can actually hear and how their families are delighted. Since these kids cannot hear, they cannot speak properly as well.
However, as part of Project Shruti, a number of kids are benefitting from this device coupled
with speech therapy, which helps children not just listen but even learn speaking.”

After Arvalli and Ahmedabad districts, Indian Red Cross Society also aims to take this initiative
to other districts of the state. Enlisting the numerous social initiatives taken up by the society, Shri Ajay Patel, chairman, Indian Red Cross Society, said, “At least 150 children from rural Ahmedabad who are hearing impaired by birth have benefitted from this initiative. We aim to set up a blood bank of high standard in each district and a blood storage centre in each taluka.

This will enable patients in need of blood in rural areas with quality and easy access to blood. Each village must also have an affordable pathology laboratory. Each government scheme must reach people. First Aid
Training must be given to the youth so that they can act in times of emergencies. We are
working in this direction and we aim to help set up physiotherapy centres and medical stores
providing medicines at an affordable rate.”

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