Monday, 12 November 2012

KEM Big Ears -

25 Hearing impaired Children Graduate today

Pune, Sunday, 11 November, 2012:
Graduation for all of us means an educational achievement, however, today it stands for a step towards a more promising and fulfilling life of which education will bea part.
BIG EARS, a clinic which focuses on early detection and intervention in patients with hearing impairment today announced the Graduation of 25 young children who were hearing impaired since birth. The Graduation ceremony took place amidst much fan fare which was attended by parents, doctors, the entire team of KEM and well-wishers. The Convocation ceremony was graced by none other than eminent poet, writer and lyricist Gulzaar Saab, who handed over the certificates to these small Graduates.
All the children who have Graduated today, received their implants in between the years 2006 till 2008 and post surgery there was an integral habilitation program varying from a year to eighteen months during which the cochlear impalanted child had to undergo training in listening and speaking. The child was then able to develop near normal speech and language skills enabling him/her to become a part of mainstream society.

Today Big Ears is proud that all the 25 children who have graduated are ready to mingle with normal children and attend regular schools.

Speaking about the Graduation ceremony, Dr Neelam Vaid, Director and Implanting surgeon of Big Ears, said-
“ To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” It is only appropriate that we acknowledge and applaud the parents who dreamt and believed that their children are no less than others and left no stone unturned to try and give their children a better future. All of us at BIG EARS are committed to fulfilling the dreams and beliefs of these parents. The team consisting of audiologists, therapists, speech and language pathologists and surgeon ensure that the family recieves appropriate advice and care. It does not end there, 98% of our patients come from families that cannot afford this expensive technology. Over the past 6 years we have helped 175 children and their families get financial aid and acquire this technology. Its not been a easy task and the commitment of the social workers of the KEM Hospital, Pune is to be lauded.

Ironically Gulzaar saab directed Koshish, the Hindi movie in 1972 which featured the Late Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri who were a deaf and mute couple which depicted their conflicts, pain and struggle to carve out a niche for themselves in the society. Today after 40 years it is at his hands and with his blessings that these young 25 children are trying to make a place for themselves in this world amongs normal children.

Today this ceremony also marks the completion of 175 cochlear implant surgeries, performed by the Big Ears division at KEM Hospital. The evening will be dedicated to the contribution they have made in giving a new lease of life to hearing impaired children.

 In order to show their gratitude for the support, understanding and time given to them, the children of Big Ears put up a special dance performance to win over the hearts of everyone present.

 About Dr. Neelam Vaid
Dr. Neelam Vaid is an Associate Professor at the Dept. of E.N.T., K.E.M. Hospital, Pune. She is also the Director of BIG EARS, a clinic which focuses on early detection and intervention in Patients with hearing impairment.
She obtained her Master in Surgery (ENT) from the University of Poona in 1990. Her interests are mainly in Oncology and Endoscopic sinus surgery. She has been involved with Cochlear Implants since 1999 and started a specialized Cochlear Implant clinic at BIG EARS in 2006.
She also introduced neonatal hearing screening for the first time in Maharashtra in 2005. She is involved with Genetic and analysis of nonsyndromic hearing loss in the Indian subpopulation. She has numerous national and international publications to her credit.



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