Life Amplified Rotary Sri Lanka introduces the sounds of the world to the otherwise silent environment of the hearing-impaired by gifting them the invaluable hearing aids. They suddenly find their life amplified and vibrant now.

A child receives hearing aid from a Miss China finalist (left) in the presence  of DG Gowri Rajan (right).
A child receives hearing aid from a Miss China finalist (left) in the presence of DG Gowri Rajan (right).

How wonderful it is to listen to the chirping of the birds, the innocent sound of a baby’s laughter, the gurgling of a brook! But alas, the world is just a deafening silence for the hearing-impaired.

Rotary International District 3220, Sri Lanka and Maldives have risen up to the rescue of the hearing- impaired in Sri Lanka as they launched a project to donate hearing aids to them at an event held at ­Cinnamon Lake Side Hotel, on December 31, 2014 in the presence of 40 international and local media. The event was aired that night to the twenty million population across the country. The launch was unique given that the Miss China finalists vying for the Miss Universe 2014 title handed over the hearing aids to the initial 20 deserving children. The launch function was sponsored by an IT corporate called E Wise.

Speaking about the project, ­District Governor Gowri Rajan outlined how a field assessment carried out in Sri Lanka earlier during the year had revealed that almost 1.6 million people (9 percent of the population) were affected with hearing problems and Rotary District 3220 having identified this issue located a donor to make a difference to the fast growing Sri Lankan economy that needs a healthy labour force to support the strong economic growth agenda of the country which is estimated by World Bank to grow at a staggering seven percent-plus growth.The French trade organisation ranks the economy as one of the best of the two fast growing economies in Asia.

The project is valued at 100 million Sri Lankan rupees in equipment and professional time. Past Governors of the District were all present at the occasion. The initiative was an exceptional one, as those who could not have access to such a sophisticated equipment worth between
₹60,000 to ₹1,10,000 each, now had the opportunity of owning one. The District Governor informed that the hearing aids originated from ­Germany. “One thousand such hearing aids will be donated by Rotary across the country,” she said.

The base hospital owned by the Government of Sri Lanka in a respective geographic area will verify the hearing capacity of the potential recipient, with an audiogram and then Rotary would provide the equipment to the needy person. It is a classic PPP (private-public-people) partnership approach that Rotary advocates in the country for a long term sustainability of the project. It is an on-going project that would continue for years to come.

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