Suraksha partnered with SoundWorld Solutions to fit our girls with Bluetooth-based customized hearing aids. This hearing aid comes with a downloadable smartphone application which enables us to test hearing loss and simultaneously customize the hearing levels to appropriate frequencies. It also has presets to accommodate situations like a cinema hall or one-to-one conversation. This hearing aid looks like a regular Bluetooth device and thus will be effective in countering the stigma of traditional hearing aids.
The results have been very encouraging and were documented and presented to the Ministry of Welfare and Social Justice. The success of this project has given the girls great hope and confidence but our job has just begun. The girls need rigorous training and practice to understand the sound stimuli and interpret them accurately in different environments.
We also are in discussions with the NRHM to build a social enterprise model by training our girls on the testing and fitting of this hearing aid so they can travel to rural areas to test, fit and maintain hearing aids for others with hearing impairments.