GUWAHATI, Feb 14 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has announced Rs 20 crore to project Shravan launched by Prerana for a deaf-free Assam.
Speaking as the chief guest at a function organised by Prerana in the Srimanta Sankaradeva auditorium at Panjabari today, Chief Minister Gogoi said that the project for hearing impaired children would go a long way in making the State deaf-free. “Like Operation Smile launched successfully for a cleft-free Assam, project Shravan will also bring about a deaf-free State in the days ahead,” he said.
Lauding the philanthropic activities of Prerana, a charitable organisation formed by wives of retired and serving IAS officers, Gogoi said reaching out to the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised segments of society and making their lives better is a most wonderful way of expressing our love, care and affection for them. “Each and every individual must strive forward to extend a helping hand to the disadvantaged and marginalised sections and make them feel special by spreading love, care and affection. And what better occasion it could be as it coincides with Valentine’s Day today,” he said.
Gogoi said that the State government has been striving relentlessly for ensuring welfare of the poor and downtrodden sections of the society. “Serving the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised sections of society has been our motto. Our government has given top priority for ameliorating their socio-economic condition since day one,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Nareshwar Sinha, director, Ideal Charity, a UK-based NGO for impaired children, said it has been a wonderful experience to work in partnership with Prerana and NRHM, Assam to bring smiles on the faces of impaired children of Assam. “Serving children with disabilities is something that goes straight to my heart. I hope the project with the blessings of the Chief Minister can be replicated throughout the State in the coming days,” he said.
Dr Sinha said the expensive hearing aids provided by his organisation free of cost has been individualised catering to the specific needs of the hearing impaired children.
Earlier, in her welcome address, Prerana president Suman Pipersenia said Shravan is the first major project taken up by the organisation in association with NRHM, Assam and Ideal Charity. She said Prerana, with the help of the State social welfare department and NRHM Assam, identified 160 children afflicted with hearing problem. “Out of the 160 children, 40 were discharged after minor treatment. The rest went through advanced procedure of treatment at the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital and hearing in them was restored through hearing aids provided by Ideal Charity,” she said.
Later Chief Minister Gogoi and his wife Dolly Gogoi distributed hearing aids to some impaired children of Kamrup (Metro). It may be mentioned that project Shravan has been taken up on a pilot basis in Kamrup, Nalbari and Nagaon districts.