Hearing loss is a growing concern in India, particularly among children and adolescents. According to the World Health Organization, India has the highest burden of hearing loss globally, with an estimated 63 million people affected. In recent years, there has been an alarming increase in the number of cases of hearing loss in children and adolescents in India.
As per Innovative Project Management Services Pvt Ltd , one of India’s leading technical research and CSR consultancy, one of the main causes of hearing loss in children and adolescents in India is noise pollution. With rapid industrialization and urbanization, the level of noise pollution in cities has increased significantly, leading to damage to the delicate structures of the inner ear. A study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research found that approximately 15% of school-going children in India have some degree of hearing loss, with noise pollution being the primary cause.
Another significant cause of hearing loss in children and adolescents in India is the rampant use of earphones and headphones. Prolonged exposure to loud music through these devices can damage the hearing ability of children and adolescents. A study conducted by the Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery found that out of 400 school-going children surveyed, 26% of them had a hearing loss of varying degrees due to the use of earphones and headphones.
Early detection of hearing loss is crucial in ensuring that children and adolescents receive appropriate interventions and support. If left undetected, hearing loss can have severe consequences, including delayed speech and language development, academic difficulties, and social isolation. Studies have shown that early detection and intervention can significantly improve a child's language, social, and emotional development.
Leading electrical appliances manufacturer, V-Guard Industries, has teamed up with Madhya Pradesh-based non-profit organization, Mahaveer Trust, to carry out its latest CSR intervention, "Project Suno." Innovative Project Management Services Pvt Ltd, will work closely with Mahaveer Trust and offer technical and implementation support for the project.
‘Project Suno’ is an innovative initiative aimed at supporting children and adolescents suffering from hearing loss and deafness. The project targets schools and Anganwadi centers in Sanawad, Badnagar, and Indore in Madhya Pradesh, with approximately 7,200 students screened for hearing impairments. Trained and registered audiologists will conduct hearing tests for those students who have hearing impairments.
The initiative aims to minimize preventable hearing loss in children resulting from illness, injury, or birth defects. To achieve this, 360 customized digital hearing assistance devices and accessories will be provided. For children with hearing problems that are untreatable by aids, the project will refer them to a government hospital or health center in their region for more advanced care.
As part of the project, 180 teachers will be trained to spot early warning signals, particularly in younger children. Additionally, children will be instructed on how to care for and use the assistive hearing equipment. To ensure inclusivity, the project will focus on female students who face exclusion due to gender preferences, as well as students who are absent from school for socioeconomic reasons.
Dr. Soumitro Chakraborty, CEO of Innovative Project Management Services Pvt Ltd, commented, "Hearing loss can occur at any age, and hearing screening plays a vital role in ensuring that patients can avoid communication roadblocks and potentially have a better quality of life. Project Suno intends to assist children with hearing impairment and enable them to overcome the obstacles posed by hearing loss."
Mahaveer Trust is responsible for implementing the project in all targeted regions and conducting various monitoring activities in close consultation with Innovative Project Management Services Pvt Ltd.
While talking about the project, Mr Amit Kasliwal, President, Mahaveer Trust, said, "With Project Suno, we aim to raise awareness among children, parents, and educators about the importance of regular hearing screening and provide access to hearing-assistive devices for those who need them. By partnering with V-Guard Industries and Innovative Project Management Services Pvt Ltd, we can leverage our collective resources and expertise to create a lasting impact on the lives of children and adolescents in Madhya Pradesh. This project is in alignment with our motto of 'Health for All' and we are excited to see the positive changes it brings to our communities."
Project Suno is an innovative CSR intervention that aims to support children and adolescents with hearing loss and deafness. This project will make a meaningful difference in the lives of thousands of students and help them overcome communication barriers to reach their full potential.