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CSR initiative could prove a game changer for hearing-impaired

CSR in India has gone beyond merely ‘Charity and Donations’. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) acknowledges the corporation’s duty that the corporation owes to the community within which it operates. It regards the community as an equal stakeholder.As per provision of Company Act 2013 it is now mandatory for all companies to contribute 2% of their 3 year average annual net profit on their CSR activites as mentioned in Schedule VII of the acts with effect from April, 2014. Further added  in Scheduled VII there is  provision of aids and appliances to Divyangjans under ‘Promoting Health and Care including preventive health care’.

Activities undertaken by corporates under their CSR obligation could prove a game changer for providing sustainable development in Social Sector. Disability sector is one of the area which needs to be addressed for inclusive growth of the society and CSR provide the huge opportunity to serve the persons with disabilities that fall under vulnerable section of society.

 The Chief Guest of the event, Hon’ble Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot graced the occasion. Senior officials of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilites, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India were also present during the function.

In this front, Airport Authority of India(AAI) has exemplary came forward and sponsored Cochlear Implant surgeries for 115 children with profound hearing loss under their CSR project implemented by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India(ALIMCO). AAI and ALIMCO signed MoU on 4th September 2017 at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, New Delhi for conducting Cochlear Implant surgeries of 100 beneficiaries for FY 2017-18 on PAN India basis valuing Rs. 669.00 lakhs under the CSR initiative of Airport Authority of India. Cochlear Implant surgeries are done through Ali Yavar Jang National Institute of Speech and Language Disabilities (Divyangjan), Mumbai under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.

 The MoU was signed by ShriSanjeev Jindal, GM (Engg-SR) & CSR, AAI & Shri Ajay Chaudhary, DGM (CSR), ALIMCO in august presence of Shri. Guruprasad Mohapatra (I.A.S.), Chairman, AAI and Shri D.R. Sarin, CMD, ALIMCO.

A similar MoU was earlier signed by AAI with ALIMCO for FY 2016-17 for Rs. 100 lakhs in which AAI had sponsored Cochlear Implant Surgeries for 15 children which have already been completed successfully through Ali Yavar Jang National Institute of Speech and Language Disabilities (Divyangjan), Mumbai. Post operative rehabilitation is undertaken by Audiologist and speech language pathologist and special educator of Hearing Impaired. Parent have very important role in stimulating child to learn speech and language at home and maintain the external part (Processor). 

This major CSR initiative of AAI will help the children to completely overcome their hearing disability, thereby enabling them to hear and speak coherently and making them fully independent to lead a normal and productive life. This effort will not only bring these underprivileged children to the mainstream of life but will also contribute to national economy.

Hearing impairment has a significant impact on the child and his family. Considering the wide ranging impact of hearing impairment, early identification and intervention during the critical learning years, has been found to be very important to minimize the impact of the hearing impairment in the child’s over all development. Most of children who are born deaf or hard of hearing can learn to listen to their own voices, listen to the voices of others and listen to the sounds of life.

An estimate shows that around 35,000 children need Cochlear Implant annually in India. Government of India has made provision to sponsor 500 numbers under the ADIP Schemewhich is minuscule in comparison to actual requirement. Till date more than 1000 number of Cochlear Implant Surgeries have been successfully conducted in the country under the ADIP Government of Indiaand CSR funds.

The event is an effort to sensitize various organisations to come forward for the noble cause of supporting hearing impaired children under their CSR initiatives.

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