Published On : Mon, Dec 24th, 2018

Government of Maharashtra and the Tata Trusts partner OCHRI to provide cochlear implant surgeries for underprivileged children

Nagpur: The Government of Maharashtra and the Tata Trusts collaborate with Orange City Hospital & Research Institute (OCHRI) to empower the underprivileged children with the gift of hearing. The partnership aims to provide hearing disabled children with subsidized cochlear implants through the facilitation of life-changing surgeries. The partnership has facilitated 108 surgeries through the OCHRI Cochlear Implant Surgery Project (CIP).

The OCHRI Cochlear Implant Surgery Project (CIP) is supported by the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) and the Tata Trusts. The program was initiated by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri. Devendra Fadnavis, and is led by Padmashree Dr. M. V. Kirtane with a team of experienced surgeons including Dr. Nandu Kolwadkar and Dr. Sameer Choudhary to perform the surgeries; with support from Dr. Smita Harkare, Dr. Neeta Deshpande, Dr. Anita Pande and Dr. Kuldeep Sukhadeve.

OCHRI, recently, celebrated its century of CI Surgeries in a unique manner wherein the beneficiaries presented their talents. Deaf and dumb children now speak, hear, and even sing with ease. The program held at Jaivik Sabhagruha of OCHRI witnessed the presence of Shri. Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Guardian Minister – Nagpur District, as the Chief Guest; Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Divisional Commissioner – Nagpur Division, Shri. Kumar Chaitanya, Head, Individual Grants Program- Medical, the Tata Trusts and Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, Deputy Director- Health, Nagpur Division as Guests of Honor. Dr. Deepak Dongre conducted the ceremony while Dr. Sameer Choudhary- OCHRI Cochlear Implant Surgeon proposed vote of thanks.

Shri. Chandrashekhar Bawankule, whose office pursues each application to its logical end at CMRF office, stated that OCHRI set a praiseworthy trend by initiating Cochlear implant surgeries for needy Vidarbhites when they had no option but to reach Mumbai for this advanced surgery. He appreciated OCHRI for commencing such unique social undertakings and thus setting an ideal for other health care service providers to follow.

Complimenting OCHRI for successfully undertaking 108 surgeries, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Divisional Commissioner-Nagpur Division, assured regular support of government to this project and stated that the trend set by OCHRI is now also followed by GMC and IGGMC under ADIP scheme.

Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, Deputy Director – Health, Nagpur Division, desired Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening (UNHS) should be strictly complied by all hospitals, nursing homes, Gynecologists and Pediatricians for early detection of hearing loss. Bedside Otoacoustic emission (OAE) testing should be done on all Newborns to screen hearing. If hearing loss is found early, a child will have the best chance to learn. Children with hearing loss can progress normally in their language and social skills when intervention begins by six months of age.

Speaking at the event Mr. Kumar Chaitanya, Head, Individual Grant Program – Medical, the Tata Trusts said, “The Tata Trusts continue its efforts in large scale projects of social transformation not bound by geographies, the organization’s healthcare programs assist patients on compassionate grounds. Through this partnership, we aim to reach out to those most in need, to enable them with the gift of hearing and bring about a sustainable, positive change in their lives.”

The Tata Trusts’ Individual Grants Program follows a comprehensive, systematic, and humane approach to identify individuals and organizations who require assistance in the areas of medical treatment and education. Recently, the Tata Trusts were a part of the world’s largest gifting of hearing aids, in Pune, at which 12000 hearing aids were donated to 6000 individuals in a mission by the Starkey Hearing Foundation, setting a Guinness World Record. This was supported by a consortium of charitable trusts and foundations including Yashwantrao Chauhan Pratishthan, Pawar Public Charitable Trust, Thackersey Group, RVS Educational and Charitable Foundation and the Tata Trusts.

In his welcome speech; Dr. Nandu Kolwadkar, Founder Convener-OCHRI CIP, stated that OCHRI’s Freedom from deafness movement functions under insignia of Project Geeta as named after congenitally hearing impaired sister of Shri.Udaybhaskar Nair, Chairman- OCHRI. He mentioned that it is sheer bliss to observe needy poor hearing impaired children brought back to mainstream with this revolutionary breakthrough highly advanced surgical undertaking.

Dr. Ashish Disawal and Ms. Neelu Somani- Audiologists, thanked the Government of Maharashtra, the Tata Trusts, and OCHRI for providing this novel surgical facility at doorsteps of needy hearing impaired Vidarbha based children who were finding it difficult to reach Mumbai. They highlighted the improvements noticed in all operated children and emphasized the need of proper speech rehabilitation by qualified trained speech therapists for each operated child to attain complete benefit of the implant.

Shri. Udaybhaskar Nair, Chairman- OCHRI, said, “The generous patronage of the Tata Trusts and Maharashtra Chief Minister’s relief fund has only ensured that Cochlear Implant Surgeries are being regularly undertaken at OCHRI. We are grateful to the Tata Trusts & Maharashtra Government for considering OCHRI as a partner to attain our common goal in this sector.”

Prominently present during this press conference were Smt. Kumudini Todankar, Smt. Swati Dabre from the Individual Grants team at the Tata Trusts, Dr. Usha Nair – RNHPL Director (Medical), Dr. Vidya Nair – RNHPL Director (Quality), Dr. Anup Marar – OCHRI Director, Smt. Manjiri Damle – CIP Coordinator along with Sr. Nisha Ashok, Sr. Deepali Kawal and Sr. Kavita Gotphode.

Dr. Noorul Ameen, Ganesh Iyer, Sunil Sure, Priya Sashi, Roy Thomas, Narottam Awasthi, Saramma Samuel, Rajan Thakur, Pankaj Wadaskar, Anil Dhakate, Prashant Tichkule, Avinash Ganar and Niraj Patil contributed for this event.

About the Tata Trusts:
Since inception in 1892, the Tata Trusts, India’s oldest philanthropic organization, have played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities they serve. Guided by the principles and the vision of proactive philanthropy of the Founder, Jamsetji Tata, the Trusts’ purpose is to catalyze development in the areas of healthcare and nutrition, water and sanitation, education, energy, rural upliftment, urban poverty alleviation, and arts, craft and culture. The Trusts’ programs, achieved through direct implementation, partnerships and grant making, are marked by innovations, relevant to the country. For more information, please visit