Pakistani girl to get cochlear implant via Indian NGO

Updated: Aug 14, 2012, 20:50 PM IST

Hyderabad: A 20-month-old girl from Pakistan is set to undergo a cochlear implant Friday at Apollo Hospital here, thanks to an Indian NGO.

The implant will enable Khadija to hear. Khadija was born deaf to Adnan Adeel and Shehr Banu in the Pakistani port city of Karachi. "We came to know of the problem four months after her birth and we were worried about her future," Shehr Banu told IANS.

Khadija is the couple`s second daughter. Adeel is an electrical engineer in Karachi.

"I came to know about SAHI (Society to Aid the Hearing Impaired) through the Internet. I am grateful to them for offering the device free of cost as a gesture of goodwill," said Adeel, who arrived here a week ago.

While the device costs $20,000, the surgery expenses will around $5,000 to $6,000, he said.

Hyderabad-based SAHI helps poor children with hearing impairment. It identifies children mainly in rural areas with little or no access to modern medical treatment.

"We have come to India for the first time and are very happy to be here," said Shehr Banu, a housewife.

"I have not felt that I am in some other country. There is no difference between our two countries. The people, the culture and the language everything is same," said Adeel.

"We were feeling helpless and were afraid that our daughter will grow as deaf and dumb. I cried and prayed to Allah. The Almighty opened the doors, the doors of a so-called enemy country," he added.

Adeel approached 300 individuals and organisations seeking help for Khadija. "I am honoured to be the first foreigner to avail charity from SAHI but I hope I will not be the last."

"In a state of war all our resources are used on weapons instead of meeting the needs of poor, hungry and the needy. We need a war not against each other but against poverty and diseases," he said.

The Pakistani couple were also guests at a India and Pakistan joint celebrations for Independence Day, which was disrupted by Vishwa Hindu Parishad cadres.

"We are not enemies. We are friends. If we were enemies we would not have been sitting like this and jointly celebrating our independence," he added.