KOLKATA: A visually and hearing impaired girl, whose single mother couldn't afford a surgery of Rs 10 lakh, will be able to speak and hear following the intervention of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
In the first such case of a 'cochlear implant' done by the state health department, seven-year-old Swapnanika Barik's surgery was conducted today at state-run SSKM hospital successfully.
"After the rehabilitation period of one year, her hearing power will resume fully. Her speech will also resume gradually but it will not be 100 per cent normal. The ideal age to have such an operation is three years and since she is a little older so her speech will not be fully normal," said Dr Arunabha Sengupta who conducted the surgery.
The girl's mother Toton Ghosh Barik, who lives in Mahisadal of East Midnapore district, had approached the Chief Minister, who also holds the health portfolio, with a request for financial help.
Official sources said after the CM's intervention the health department sponsored the cost of her treatment.