KANNUR: The smile is back on the face of two-year-old Niyasree, and she held the hands of Health Minister K K Shailaja firmly as if to show her happiness for bringing the sounds of the world back to her. Though the eyes of Rajesh and Anitha were misty, the smiling faces said their dear daughter could hear and speak again, thanks to the intervention of the Minister.
It was on Friday around 3 pm that Shailaja reached the house of Niyasree at Chalakkunnu. She put the speech processor back in the ears of the child. “This is an old speech processor newly serviced for this purpose. We have given it to Niya for temporary use. A new device will be given within two weeks,” said the Minister. The speech processor is made available through the ‘We Care’ project of Social Security Mission, said Shailaja.
It was four months ago that a Cochlear Implant surgery was conducted on Niyasree. The doctors advised speech therapy at Kozhikode Medical College as follow-up treatment after the surgery. It was during the trip to the Medical College that the family lost the bag in which the hearing device was kept.
Though the Health Department had taken notice of the news of the missing device from the newspapers, they waited to see if any other organisations or individuals would come forward to help Niyasree. “If anybody had come forward to help Niya, we could use the money for another financially backward child. That’s why we hesitated in the beginning,” said the Minister. “We also hoped the lost device could be found. That too didn’t happen,” she said.
Though many organisations and individuals offered help, the agony of the child continued as nothing substantial came out of the promises. It was at this stage the government decided to intervene.