Suraksha is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on educating and empowering girls with disabilities and specially those with hearing impairments. Currently we work in the Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra, India and intend to scale our efforts across India and all over the globe.
We conduct speech therapy and vocational training programs in Srikakulam AP for girls with deafness and substantial hearing loss. We sponsor speech therapy instructors and audiology equipment for these children. We also identify children with substantial hearing loss and prepare them for cochlear implant surgeries and provide rehabilitation and related training after the surgery to ensure the best possible results.
In 2018, we partnered with SoundWorld Solutions to fit our girls with Bluetooth-based customized hearing aids which are accompanied by a downloadable smartphone application that enables us to test hearing loss and simultaneously customize the hearing levels to appropriate frequencies. This hearing aid looks like a regular Bluetooth device and thus is effective in countering the stigma of traditional hearing aids. We are conceptualizing a social enterprise model by training our girls on the testing and fitting of these hearing aids so they can travel to rural areas to test, fit and maintain hearing aids for others with hearing impairments and earn income..
We also provide vocational training to hearing impaired girls in sewing, pottery, artificial flower making, beautician (mehendi/henna) etc. and coordinating with local companies to employ these girls upon graduation. Moreover we sponsor Math, Science and English teachers for girls in local orphanages run by ICDS AP. Additionally we underwrite scholarships for girls pursuing higher education in Audiology and Special Education at the National Institute of Hearing Handicapped (NIHH) in Hyderabad, India.
Suraksha is also actively trying to address the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation, affecting not only the elderly but also teenagers. In an effort to address this issue, Suraksha is currently working on a pilot program that aims to connect high school students with elderly mentors, facilitating regular conversations through Zoom.