The Ability Bhutan Society (ABS) gifted hearing kits to 13 elderly people of Tashiding gewog under Dagana dzongkhag on 14 April this week.
According to the office of ABS the initiative is part of a three-year project initiated in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and German Leprosy and TB Relief Association (DAHW).
The project manager of ABS in Thimphu, Namgay Dorji, said the project is part of their social inclusive development for persons with disabilities in Bhutan which commenced from end of 2018. The project covers Chhukha, Dagana, Punakha, Sarpang and Trashigang dzongkhags.
The project coordinator of ABS in Dagana dzongkhag, Kelzang Jigme, said hearing devices will improve sound transmission for people with hearing loss. There were a total of 50 people assessed by health specialist from 14 gewogs in Dagana.
The devices are also provided to hearing-impaired individuals from Tseza, Laja, Tsangkha, and Drukjeygang gewogs. According to the project coordinator the assessed people with hearing loss in other gewogs will be provided the kits at a later date.
Choesang Golay, 38, from Tashiding chiwog who has a daughter with hearing impairment said that with the hearing kit has changed the life of his daughter, especially while looking after the cattle.
The excited recipient said she will now use the kit during the meeting and when it’s important to listen.
Agam Prasad, 45, from same village said being the only a person with hearing disability, other people makes fun of him. “From now on I can hear anything people talk about me, whether good or bad,” he said. He also said he will use the device carefully and will not use it while drinking and learn how to use it from his friends and relatives.
A couple, Mangal Singh (53) and Man Maya (42), from Ganjab chiwog are finally happy that they can now hear beautiful sounds. “It would not be a problem from now to talk between us and we would enjoy talking to each other seamlessly which we weren’t able to do before,” the couple expressed.
Gup Namgay Pelden of Tashiding gewog said people with hearing impairments can now be able to hear and listen to the gewog officials during important gewog meetings and zomdus. She said, “Now we don’t have to use sign language to commute with hearing impaired individuals which very difficult for us.”
She added that now officials don’t have to shout for the people with hearing disabilities which sometimes irritated other peoples listening nearby. He said it is equally important for them to make their people aware of what they were talking and disseminating.
With the development of digital and wireless technologies, more and more devices are becoming available to help people with hearing, voice, speech, and language disorders communicate more meaningfully and participate more fully in their daily lives.
ABS collaborates with the relevant professionals from health such as audiologist, ENT technician, ophthalmologist and physiotherapist in carrying out the assessment of disability prior to distribution of assistive devices.