Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar presided over and addressed the International Week of Deaf People 2021 at Central Health Education Bureau, New Delhi. The Directorate General of Health Services under the Union Health Ministry is commemorating the International Week of the Deaf People (IWDP) 2021 to create awareness on this issue through various activities including the involvement of stakeholders. The theme this year is “Celebrating Thriving Deaf Communities”.
Speaking at the event, Dr Bharati Pawar raised concern that there are about 9 crore people in India suffering from various hearing disabilities. She said as we are celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, we should go to our villages and see if we can help children in screening them for various ailments. Early diagnosis and prevention of disability have huge benefits. She added that screening of infants for various ailments and disabilities should be made mandatory, prevention is better than cure.
Echoing the vision and expressing her heartfelt gratitude to the Prime Minister of India, Dr Bharati Pawar said, “Under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister, we have proved to the world that India is a country which can produce its own medicine and can administer 1-2 Cr vaccines on a daily basis.” She encouraged people to celebrate their birthdays by gifting hearing aids and implants to children.
Giving an example from her childhood, she emphasised that there is a need to revive the old traditions of taking care of infants. It is important to take care of pregnant mother, she stressed. She suggested preparing a pocket book with QR codes having information about early screening and diagnosis of children as well as various helplines. This pocket book can be shared with ASHAs, Aanganwadi workers and other hospital staff. She also emphasised on the need to create awareness about various Government schemes like Ayushman Bharat so that people can get maximum benefits.
The International Week of the Deaf People (IWDP) was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. It is celebrated annually by the global Deaf Community during the last full week of September to commemorate the same month the first World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) was held. The International Week of the Deaf People is celebrated through various activities by Deaf Communities all around the world.
Dr. Sunil Kumar, DGHS, Dr. Kanwar Sen, Principal Consultant, DGHS, Dr. Anil Kumar, DDG, DGHS and other senior officers of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare were present at the occasion.