The draft report for converting the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) to a state university for the differently-abled is under consideration of the government, said Minister for Health, Social Justice, and Women and Child Development, K.K. Shailaja on Monday. The Minister was speaking while inaugurating the 22nd anniversary celebrations of NISH at its campus at Akkulam .

“We wrote to the Central Government for making NISH a national university, and even after I met the Central Minister for it, we didn’t get approval from the Centre for unknown reasons. But the state government has decided to give it state university status,” the Minister said.

“A three-member expert panel consisting of Dr MKC Nair, former Vice-Chancellor, Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS),was appointed for submitting a report in this regard. The draft is ready now and the announcement will be made before the term of the present government,” Smt. Shailaja said, adding that other institutions for the differently-abled in the state will come under this university.

Noting that the government is aiming to make Kerala a differently-abled-friendly state, she said schemes like ‘Sruthytharangam’ (cochlear implant), ‘Kathoram’ (to provide speech and hearing test device at deliver points), and ‘Dhwani’ (to revive hearing ability) are part of the efforts by the government.

Shailaja informed that new courses will begin at NISH along with upgrading the current courses. She also reminded that it is necessary to go further in providing assistive devices, early detection, and treatment.

In his presidential address, Minister for Co-operation, Devaswom and Tourism, Kadakampally Surendran, lauded the efforts of NISH to lend a helping hand to bring the differently abled to the mainstream of the society. “NISH is a model for other states in the country to emulate its meticulous efforts and activities.”

Sheeba George , Director, Social Justice Department and Executive Director, NISH, welcomed the gathering. Dr K.G. Satheesh Kumar, Director, Centre for Assistive Technology and Innovation (CATI), NISH; and Sivadath, Councillor, Kulathoor, also spoke.Deepak. K.C, Chairman, Students Union, presented the Students Union report.

Top achievers in arts, sports and academic categories were given trophies at the function. The inaugural ceremony was followed by cultural programmes of students.

Founded in 1997, NISH is a comprehensive multi-purpose institute focusing on the identification, intervention, rehabilitation and education of individuals with disabilities.

This autonomous institution has made significant contributions for improving the quality of life of individuals with communication disorders. It has also taken a pioneering effort in implementing various programmes for the disabled population across the state.

By Manoj

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