Hearing Enablement

FirstSound is an innovative program initiated by Sethi Foundation under which hearing aids have been provided to children suffering from hearing impairment.

In India, 63 million suffer from significant hearing loss and disability surveys have estimated that this is the second most common cause of disability. Hearing impairment hugely impacts one’s social, educational and economic well-being and those suffering find themselves struggling to go about their day-to-day tasks, seriously impacting their quality of life. Rehabilitation of such children remains a challenging task and early detection and intervention are critical to achieving success in this space.

A key to effective intervention is enabling these children to use hearing aids, an effort impacted by high cost of the device coupled with a lack of knowledge amongst patients in India. Hearing aids help recipients gain back confidence and independence, helping them lead a better quality of life. 

A survey in UK indicated that 1 in 10 adults benefitted from hearing aids translating to 4 million people. Statistics however show only 1 in 30 uses the device. The situation in India is worse.

Pursuing a mission of helping hearing-impaired children regain their confidence and improve their quality of life, The Sethi Foundation is working with leading specialist Dr. Sunil Narayan under the FirstSound initiative and 60 hearing aids were provided to deserving children from in and around Bangalore in the first round. Recipients include Jhanavi S, Umme Fatima, Manikanta R, Harshita R, Rakshith G, Sumangala Jhanesh, S Ranganatha, Thahir, Tajamul, and Vivek B.

The Foundation is committed to taking this initiative ahead to touch as many underprivileged and deserving children as possible, going forward.

Hearing Impaired population in India6.4%
People with Severe Disability (Can only hear shouted words)39%
People with Profound Disability (Unable to hear or only hear very loud sounds)32%
Affected children who have access to schools31%

Magnitude of hearing loss in India

In India, 63 million people (6.3%) suffer from significant auditory loss. Nationwide disability surveys have estimated hearing loss to be the second most common cause of disability. Loss or impairment of auditory sense is the most prevalent deficit of all the sensory organs. With virtually no mortality, hearing impairment causes huge impact on one’s social, educational and economic well-being.


Our Experts

Dr. Sunil Narayan Dutt
M.S (ENT), D.N.B (ORL), D.L.O., RCS (Eng), FRCS ED, FRCS (ORL-HNS) , PhD , Clinical Fellowship – Otology/Neurotology
Senior Consultant and Cochlear Implant Surgeon

Dr. Sunil Narayan Dutt is a world-renowned Otolaryngologist with over two decades of experience in ENT. He was the first Coordinator and Head of the Department of ENT in Apollo Bangalore. Dr Dutt has trained and practiced ENT both in India and abroad and his special interests include Implantation Otology, Middle Ear Surgery, Neurotology and Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.

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